Village House owners buy Crooked Door for $135K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Bidders and curiosity seekers gather outside the Orleans County Courthouse for the auction today at 3 p.m. for the former Crooked Door tavern. The property at 469 East State St. sold for $135,000.

ALBION – The owner of The Village House, a restaurant that opened 30 years ago on East Avenue in Albion, bought the former Crooked Door tavern today at an auction for $135,000.

Alex Mitrousis, The Village House owner, said his family wants to turn the Crooked Door into a sports bar with finger foods.

“We’re not in a rush,” he said about a timetable for the project.

Mitrousis said he has been in the restaurant business for 46 years, starting when he opened the Brockport Diner. He said they are intense businesses that need many employees. He has 40 workers at The Village House. A sports bar with a downsized menu will be a different experience than The Village House, and a viable business, Mitrousis said.

The Crooked Door, the former Club 469, opened in January 2011 following extensive renovations by Joe and Debbie Martillotta. They operated the business for more than three years, selling it in April 2014 to Susan Holmes. She closed the business in January 2015, nine months after acquiring the property at 469 East State St.

Key Bank held the mortgage, which was $427,740 in arrears. The sale today will go towards that debt.

Key Bank submitted the opening bid of $75,000. Then Steve Gramiak, owner of the Black North Inn and Mitrousis, were in a bidding battle until Gramiak opted not to go above $135,000. Gramiak said he saw the property as an investment that could be leased to someone wanting to run a restaurant with a bar.

The former Crooked Door Tavern closed in January 2015.