Sweetwaters to Close and Become New Location of Pascolo Ristorante | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Food + Drink » Food News

Sweetwaters to Close and Become New Location of Pascolo Ristorante

By

Published July 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated August 2, 2022 at 2:37 p.m.


Sweetwaters - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • Sweetwaters
Longtime Church Street dining fixture Sweetwaters will close on September 5, and the Farmhouse Group's Pascolo Ristorante will take over the historic building with a planned reopening in November, according to a joint press release issued by the two businesses.

"It was time for me to move on," said Sweetwaters owner David Melincoff in a phone interview.

Melincoff, 65, has owned Sweetwaters for 21 of its 41 years and previously worked for the Perry Restaurant Group, which opened the Burlington restaurant in November 1981. He had vowed to steward the restaurant through COVID-19 and get it on solid footing, he said, before telling his staff this year that he was looking for a buyer.



Sweetwaters is known for its expansive outdoor dining space on lower Church Street, its equally expansive menu and its annual free Thanksgiving dinner, which peaked during the pandemic at 1,700 meals, according to Melincoff.

After a long restaurant industry career, Melincoff said he is looking forward to a rest and focusing on passions such as snowboarding. "I've taken care of people for 41 years," he said. "It's time for me to take care of myself."

The deal, first reported by the Burlington Free Press, involves the sale of the restaurant and the transfer of the long-term lease at 120 Church Street. Melincoff declined to share the sale price.

According to the press release, Pascolo Ristorante will continue to operate at its current location at 83 Church Street until the renovation of its new home is complete.
Pascolo Ristorante - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • Pascolo Ristorante
"The Pascolo team is psyched for the move to 118 Church Street. It's a landmark property that will allow us to more fully represent the Pascolo concept, including lunch service and even a retail presence," said Farmhouse Group owner Jed Davis in the press release.

Melincoff said he is happy with the sale to the Farmhouse Group. "My priorities were a good local organization that would give back to the community, like we have with our Thanksgiving dinner, and take care of our employees," he said.

The press release noted that the Farmhouse Group will "make efforts to retain the current Sweetwaters staff, as well as the Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner in some format."

Sweetwaters executive chef Jessee Lawyer told Seven Days by text that the sale is "exciting" and that he hopes to become a part of the Farmhouse team. "I feel that their commitment to local foods and how they represent those foodways on the plate align with where I want to be in my progression as a chef," Lawyer wrote.