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Side Dishes: Monty's Old Brick Tavern changes hands

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When David Herskowitz purchased an 1842 residence in the center of Williston village eight years ago, it needed heavy renovation — which Herskowitz did so elegantly that he picked up a historic preservation award in the process.

The restaurant he created, Monty’s Old Brick Tavern, has since become a Williston fixture. But now Herskowitz is exiting the business; he sold Monty’s this week to Mark Akey. “I’m happy with what I did there. I hope it keeps going for a long time,” Herskowitz says.

If Akey’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he owned Akes’ Place on Burlington’s Church Street before selling that business in 2009 and opening Akes’ Den in Waitsfield.

Now Akey plans to put that business up for sale in

short order and return to the town where he was born and raised. “I’m looking forward to the four-mile commute,” Akey says.

He’ll keep Monty’s menu and hours as they are for now, Akey says, but in coming months, diners can expect a renovated interior as well as a revamped menu from executive chef Dan Goetz, who will stay on. “We’ll keep some of the staples, such as the burger,” says Akey, but he suggests the fare may go the way of Akes’ Den. There, chef Jamie Nelson has rolled out a “rustic European-American menu,” with dishes such as beef bourguignon, chicken pot pie and a Porterhouse pork chop.

The current Monty’s lacks both a fryer and a large bar; while Akey can’t add the first because of a zoning issue, he plans to expand the second. “There will be more of a working bar, and we’ll serve Vermont microbrews,” he says.

Peter Yee of Yellow Sign Commercial handled the deal, confidentially listing Monty’s for sale.

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