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Landmark Bergmann Hotel, restaurant get new owners

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2001

Local diners soon will have another place to get a good steak in town, said the new owners of the Bergmann Hotel and Grubstake Restaurant downtown.

Former owner Pat Barrett sold the 42-room hotel and restaurant on Third Street last month to his niece Maureen Barrett, nephew James and sister-in-law Camilla, who are acting as a limited liability company.

The owners would not disclose the exact sale price, but said it was slightly more than $500,000.

James Barrett, 27, and Maureen Barrett, 25, will run and renovate the businesses locally with manager Linda Murphy. Camilla Barrett will remain as a partner in the company in Seattle.

The Grubstake Restaurant and Portal Bar, both in the basement of the hotel, are tentatively set to reopen in June, James Barrett said. They closed last winter because Pat Barrett, 76, could no longer handle both businesses, Murphy said.

Maureen Barrett said they wanted to wait to open the eatery until the hotel was running smoothly, but diners can expect the same traditional fare when it opens.

"Everything that was on the menu will still be on the menu," she said. "We're leaving some room for the chefs we'll get to experiment a little and expand the menu to have more than just steak on it, but people know it for the steak so we're not changing it."

In addition to out-of-town guests and some miners, current residents of the Bergmann include outpatients of the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc. program. Maureen and James Barrett said they have no plans to change the arrangement.

"They are really good guests," Maureen Barrett said. "They don't cause any trouble, they don't break anything and as long as that continues they are welcome here. ... We are here to provide accommodations for anyone who needs it."

The building is a registered historical building, said Murphy. According to city records, it was built in 1885.

According to a history printed by Pat Barrett, the original owner was Marie E. Bergmann, who built the hotel and basement lounge to cater to local miners. This tradition was honored by Pat Barrett and Mike Galligher when they bought the Bergmann in 1970, and continued when Pat Barrett ran the businesses with his wife, Marguerite, Maureen Barrett said.

Maureen Barrett said they will keep the traditional mining theme as they renovate.

James Barrett said he plans to completely reconfigure the basement kitchen to make it more efficient. He also said the owners would try to "make the dining area generally more comfortable" for customers, but he has no specific plans yet.

Maureen Barrett said the company also wants to restore the charm of the building by revealing the original wood flooring and uncovering a skylight sealed off since 1970.

Pat Barrett said he will continue to live at the Bergmann, but is not sad to let it go.

"I just hope they do as good a job as we did," he said.

*****

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.



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