CHESHIRE — Owners of the Waverly Inn restaurant have the historic location up for sale, but said until they find the next owner, everything is business as usual.
Kyle Cipully said he and his father, August Cipully, are selling the Waverly to focus on other businesses and family. They also own the Victorian House Restaurant down the street, an auto body shop in Meriden and a landscaping business.
The Cipullys are the latest owners of the Waverly Inn, which opened in 1896. In its heyday, the restaurant was able to seat 1,200 people and employed 50 bartenders.
In the 1960s, the restaurant was used for Cheshire High School proms, and was the second-highest taxpayer in town. The entire Waverly Manor building used to house the restaurant and lounge, but much of the space was converted in 1985 to offices and stores, with only the lounge area remaining a restaurant.
John Glass owned the business for nearly 20 years, but closed in 2011. After buying all the contents of the restaurant from Glass in 2011, Kyle Cipully said he was able to negotiate a sublease from Stop & Shop that allowed the restaurant to reopen.
Stop & Shop leases the property from The Waverly Partners. State records list George and Paul Bowman as company members. The grocery store subleases space in the Waverly building, which is adjacent to the store on Route 10.
After the purchase, the Cipullys spent $600,000 renovating the restaurant, refinishing original woodwork and rebuilding the bar area.
The restaurant’s following was rebuilt “one customer at a time,” and Kyle Cipully said there are still people who come through the doors who are surprised it has reopened. The restaurant’s name is widely known, since many area residents had proms or other events there.
Jerry Sitko, the town’s economic development coordinator, said he’s been talking with the Cipullys about the sale and offered town assistance.
“My hope is that the business gets sold and that the Waverly, which is an iconic location in town, continues,” Sitko said.
Kyle Cipully said his father’s health and the demands of multiple businesses led to the decision to sell the Waverly. Several prospective buyers have recently toured the restaurant, listed at $450,000. The business has been on the market for nearly a year.
Kyle Cipully said the staff of 25 to 30 are a good group with low turnover. Customers, too, are loyal.
“The legacy will live on, just with different people,” he said.