Closed Fairhaven Restaurants Elisabeth’s and Margaret’s Begin a New Chapter
Two Fairhaven restaurants and an ice cream shop have been sold.
Elisabeth's and Margaret's have been staples in Fairhaven Village for decades. Throw in Brady's Ice Box, which re-opened a couple of summers ago, and they had you covered from breakfast to seafood to ice cream to cap off the night.
Back in 2008, these restaurants were so popular in the community that Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel waited 20 minutes on a bench outside for a table at Margaret's. According to their waitress, the breakfast was worth the wait, as Timberlake tried (and loved) linguica for the first time.
Things were going great for the pair of restaurants and their owners, Doug Buker and his wife, Anne Tavares-Buker.
Then, Nov. 6, 2014, happened.
Doug was involved in a serious accident on the way to work that left him with life-altering brain damage. "It was gradual, but eventually he was no longer able to run the business the way he had," Anne said.
Toward the end of last summer things finally came to a head. The restaurants closed after they were put up for sale. "We just couldn't pay our bills," Anne said.
There was interest from Howie Mallowes and his restaurant group (the same that owns Carmine's, The Vault and Profile Tavern), but the group decided to pass on the sale.
Late last week, however, another buyer, listed as Cullen North Walker Street LLC, threw its hat in the ring. Cullen bought Elisabeth's for $375,000 and Margaret's for an additional $375,000.
As for the sale, Anne says, "It's bittersweet."
While she's relieved that the restaurants (which were named after her children) have finally sold, she says Doug's accident was pivotal.
"It's one of those dates that if erased, our story would be much different."
What exactly will happen to these important locations in Fairhaven has yet to be determined, but the man in charge of the redevelopment project, Jay Lanagan, says that it will be something that the new owners will take their time completing.
"The person that bought the restaurants is a very seasoned and established business person that owns lots of real estate," Lanagan said. "He's the right person to buy and hold it, and he's looking to develop it in the right way and find the right people to either lease it or buy it. It's a really stable situation."
The next steps will be to engage an architect and start looking at liquor licensing. Elisabeth's has a liquor license, while Margaret's does not. Brady's Ice Box has been dormant and the new owners would like to reactivate the ice cream shop somehow.
Lanagan says new ownership is starting to formulate some ideas and some plans for the properties.
"The key is that the new owner has patience to let an investment group come in and execute something really nice."