CHESTER — The Panther Mountain Inn has been sold to the former executive chef at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who plans to add to the menu and make improvements to the property.
An entity called Chefprof Real Estate bought the property on Dec. 18 for $475,000 from Panther Mountain Real Estate, according to Warren County deed records. The listed agent for Chefprof Real Estate is Darren Alvaro.
Alvaro said Monday he and his wife have a second home in Chester, and he was looking for a career change.
“I kind of wanted to get out of that corporate atmosphere,” he said. “We decided to sell our home in Clifton Park and use that money to purchase something.”
Alvaro said he was attracted to the property, because it is a good gathering spot for local residents and people with vacation homes during the summer.
“It’s a historic place. It’s the center of town,” he said.
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The inn was closed for about a week during the transition.
Alvaro has already added some soups to the menu and may add some entrees.
He said he plans in the spring to add a patio onto the back for some outside seating.
He also has started to do catering.
Alvaro kept the existing staff, except for one bartender who chose to retire. There are five full- and part-time employees, including a full-time innkeeper and her husband who live in one of the 13 units.
“We’ll update them room by room. They’re very simple. They’re economical rooms,” he said.
In the summertime, Alvaro said, the inn gets motorcyclists looking for inexpensive lodging and seasonal tree crews.
Alvaro is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with more than 25 years of culinary experience. His wife, Sara, is a chemistry professor at the College of Saint Rose. Their son, Simon, is a third-grade student at North Warren Central School.