Four Leaf Clover to close after 71 years serving family-style food in Bernardston

  • The Four Leaf Clover Restaurant on South Street in Bernardston is a longtime family favorite. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/16/2020 4:17:04 PM

BERNARDSTON — After 71 years, a landmark business plans to close its doors.

The Four Leaf Clover Restaurant’s last day in operation will be Dec. 31, according to Roy “PJ” Puffer, an employee of the restaurant and the son of Linda Snow, who owns the business with her husband, Mark Snow. The American, family-style restaurant at 19 South St. has been in Puffer’s family for about 20 years.

“It will definitely be missed,” he said.

Puffer said the decision to close was directly linked to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It seemed like we were doing kind of OK until the second surge came, and then a lot of our business just dropped off,” he said.

Puffer said numerous employees, like himself, have worked at the Four Leaf Clover for decades.

“Some people for 30 years, and maybe even a little more than that,” he said. “Everybody who works there is like a family. I think a lot of us feel like that — it’s just very sad.”

According to Louella “Lou” Atherton of the Bernardston Historical Society, the restaurant was first established in May of 1949 by Stanley Durmas. At the time, Atherton was 14 years old and worked the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift on weekends.

“I waitressed there for several years and enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.

Atherton said Durmas’ godson, Charles Skiathitis, later took over ownership, followed by his son Paul. Puffer said Mark and Linda Snow were employees of the restaurant when they bought it from Paul roughly 20 years ago.

Bernardston Town Coordinator Louis Bordeaux said the “landmark business” will be “sorely missed” by the community.

“Here’s another victim of the pandemic right here in our own backyard,” Bordeaux said. “It’s easy to see the statistics the mainstream media puts out there all the time, but when it happens to friends and neighbors, it’s especially difficult.”

“We have lost a beloved landmark,” Atherton added, “but good memories linger on.”

A GoFundMe has been set up by Puffer’s husband, Christopher Puffer, who said in a note that the fundraiser was organized to help the restaurant’s employees who are about to lose their jobs. As of Wednesday afternoon, nine donors had contributed $710 toward a $20,000 goal.

Contributions to the fundraiser can be made at bit.ly/2KwWE8M.

The restaurant is currently open for takeout and indoor dining Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for lunch. On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant is open until 8 p.m.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the original owner of the Four Leaf Clover Restaurant. According to Louella “Lou” Atherton of the Bernardston Historical Society, the restaurant was first established in May of 1949 by Stanley Durmas.


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