SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – From the outside, the Fort and Student Prince appears unchanged, but 22News is working for you with a a look inside to give you your first look at a work in progress.
Project manager Demetrios Panteleakis told us when it’s done, the first thing patrons will notice is the bigger, more spacious bar area. “We have a new bar with white marble top and red leather finishing all around it. The seating is going to be much higher, 42 inch bar-seating around the perimeter,” he said.
Panteleakis said the open floor plan will make socializing more comfortable. Then he brought us into the newly designed kitchen where the fort’s distinctive food will once again be prepared.
“It’ll be the same menu, but it’ll be cooked on all state of the art equipment,” Panteleakis said. He mentioned that the menu will be updated to include healthier options as well.
Springfield Investor Peter Picknelly bought the restaurant this summer, keeping it from permanently closing. He said he made it a top priority to maintain the history, decor and ambiance. “I’m most excited about families coming back to the Fort, that’s what this was all about for me,” Picknelly said.
Local artists are stenciling the walls by hand, there will be more booths to dine in and the fireplace will be copper clad to give it an old Germany flair. However, the same decor will return to the walls, most of the wait staff will return to the kitchen and they’re hoping clientele will also come back.
“Hopefully they’ll all come back, our regulars will come back and new people will follow,” said John Perry, the restaurant’s assistant manager.
The restaurant will be done in a few weeks with an official opening scheduled for early December. Rudi Scherff will also return as the face of the restaurant.