Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Fitzwilly’s restaurant in Northampton gets a new look at 39

“We replaced the bar, which was actually the same bar from Mike’s Tavern, which occupied the space before Fitzwilly’s, from the 1960s, early 1970s,” Fred Gohr, co-owner of the restaurant, said in a phone interview.

The restaurant has been closed since Sunday. Though there is another week’s worth of work ahead, Gohr planned to reopen this weekend. “We have been serving lunch at the Toasted Owl next door all week,” said Gohr, referring to the tavern he co-owns.

Gohr and his partners bought Fitzwilly’s in 1988. Other improvements include new furniture, energy-efficient lighting and swapping out the carpeting for laminate hardwood floors. “We’ve made a few changes, but we are the same great restaurant that we’ve been, with a great staff and a great menu,” Gohr said. Beyond Builders of Northampton has done most of the construction.

Fitzwilly’s now has antique-looking mirrors, pendant lights and dark wood booths and tables. The decor will include linen napkins rather than paper ones.

The restaurant updated its kitchen in June, with new floors and new stainless steel equipment. Gohr said the dining area renovations were planned for January since it is a quieter time of year for the business. Fitzwilly’s seats about 180 people.

After pulling out the booths in order to install the floors, Gohr and his team found an old menu that had fallen between the cracks. It was from the 1970s, yellowed and stained from the passage of time. Back then a cup of coffee cost 20 cents and a Reuben sandwich went for $1.85. As for the restaurant’s 85 employees, some helped prepare the space for renovations while others took vacation time and waited for business to reopen.

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