For Pete’s Sake on auction block

Published 5:08 am Monday, July 25, 2011

For Pete's Sake restaurant in Courtland will go up for auction on Aug. 20. FILE

COURTLAND—A closed restaurant in Courtland will go up for auction at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

No minimum bid has been set on For Pete’s Sake restaurant at 23201 Main St., said Scott Jones, auction and associate broker with United Country-A.B. Cole & Associates, Auction & Realty in Suffolk.

“When the final number comes in that day, the seller will be able to determine whether to accept it or not,” Jones said.

The sale of the restaurant’s tables, chairs, freezers and all equipment will follow the real estate auction.

Owner Peter Pearson on July 3 closed the restaurant and laid off 14 full- and part-time employees. Pearson said business dropped 50 percent after International Paper announced in October 2009 that it was closing its Franklin mill, eliminating 1,100 jobs.

In the restaurant business for 30 years, Pearson formerly owned Phillips & Co. in downtown Franklin. A year before Hurricane Floyd flooded the downtown in 1999, he opened For Pete’s Sake.

After the flood, Pearson did not reopen Phillips & Co., which was destroyed, and concentrated on For Pete’s Sake.

Pearson has had the restaurant on the market for four years, but has had no interested parties.

Since posting signs on the property for the auction, “the buzz” has begun, Jones said.

“It’s definitely generated some local interest at this point,” he said. “Our regional marketing campaign will start in 10 days.”

Potential buyers can bid onsite or online.

The property is being billed as the perfect location for a church, civic club or private catering.

The restaurant will be available for inspection 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug. 13.