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Rusty Business

Side Dishes: Sale of Stowe bar stumbles


Published November 14, 2012 at 8:04 a.m.

The deal that was seven years in the making may not come to fruition. Seven Days reported last month that Kim Kaufman and Jim Goldsmith, owners of the Blue Donkey in Stowe, would purchase the Rusty Nail Bar & Grille. But, according to Darrow H. Mansfield, director of the couple’s company, BIG Builders, LLC, “The transfer did not occur. We are not currently the owners at this point and it does not appear we will be anytime soon … I suspect there will be litigation of some sort, and then ultimately that will determine the outcome of the contract.”

Current Rusty Nail owner Stan Swierzewski, a Massachusetts urologist, could not be reached for comment in time for this story. According to town records uncovered by the Stowe Reporter, Swierzewski’s corporation, KSK Properties, owes the town $27,000 in back taxes, and Stowe has a lien on the property for unpaid sewer fees. Both factors prevented BIG Builders from closing on the property. Mansfield says that even if Swierzewski clears up the debts, the sale will come too late for his company to capitalize on the restaurant’s busy Thanksgiving season. That could change the value of the purchase, for which BIG Builders is currently $1.5 million in escrow.

In the meantime, the Rusty Nail remains open, though it’s currently taking a stick-season break. Stay tuned...