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GROTON — In an unexpected turn of events, the impending sale of the historic Groton Inn and Carriage House to a local buyer has been indefinitely postponed.

According to Don Black, a longtime member of the Parks Commission, his family had been in line to purchase the property from current owner George Pergantis but the deal has been put “on hold.”

The news of the impending sale to Black first broke last fall when the new owners had begun to serve breakfast at the Inn on Sept. 7.

At the time, plans were laid for a grand opening in October, over the Columbus Day weekend, with official transfer of the inn into Black’s ownership scheduled for late November.

The deal however, was never consummated, with both parties unwilling to comment on the matter.

“There’s nothing I can say about it at this time,” was all Black said.

Similarly, current management at the Inn was similarly reluctant to say anything. Manager Victoria Carson refused to comment.

Evidence that the sale of the inn has not happened is the fact that application to the town for various licenses needed to operate a restaurant have all been made in Pergantis’ name.

“From the town’s perspective, George Pergantis holds the common victual, liquor and entertainment licenses,” said Town Manager Administrative Assistant Patrice Garvin. “All have been paid for, passed in, and approved for another year.”

One of the most sensitive buildings in the town’s historic district, the Groton Inn began as a residence sometime before 1760 and was expanded upon by successive owners including the Rev. Samuel Dana who lived there in the late 1700s. The Main Street property was later transformed into an inn upon its purchase by Jonathan Keep in 1780.

One of the oldest operating wayfares in the country, the Inn eventually fell on hard times until it was purchased in 1977 by Pergantis, who renovated the old building and restored much of its antique, colonial glory making it a popular destination again for many out-of-town visitors.

The establishment comes in two parts: the main building, with 18 rooms for overnight accommodations, and a Carriage House annex that can host more than 200 people with room for dancing.

Expressing great enthusiasm over his impending ownership of the business, Black planned to maintain the inn’s historic position in downtown Groton while continuing to serve meals there as well as offering overnight accommodations and function-hall services.

Those plans however, will now remain in limbo pending clarification of whatever interfered with the sale of the inn.

In the meantime, Carson has confirmed that the inn will remain open for business, albeit with slightly fewer hours than before the deal with Black was announced.

In addition to serving dinner on Christmas Day, the inn is also planning for a New Year’s Eve bash complete with funny hats and champagne.

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