Feb 27, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
People all over Skaneateles have been talking since last week when word leaked out that local restaurant Joelle’s French Bistro has been put up for sale.
“It is for sale, it is on the market for $460,000. I have had a couple of offers already,” said co-owner Alain Castel.
Castel, restaurant manager and sommelier, and his partner Joelle Mollinger, executive chef, are selling the business because they are parting ways after nearly five years of offering classic French cuisine to Central New York.
Castel, a French-born former New York City restaurateur, is moving to Seattle to be near his daughter and family, he said. Mollinger, a native of Casablanca, Morocco, who learned to cook in Paris, will remain in Central New York.
The house, the business and the land that comprise Joelle’s French Bistro on Route 321 a few miles north of Skaneateles is all for sale. Until the sale is complete, the restaurant will remain open for business as usual, Castel said.
When news of the decision spread throughout the Skaneateles community, “everybody came running,” Castel said, so he sent out a mass email to friends and supporters to explain the situation.
“I’ll be leaving Skaneateles, and all of you my Friends, with a trickle in my eye, and a sore heart in my chest, But hey, as my father always said, ‘There’s always a silver lining, it’s up to you to see it…’ Well I’m lucky , I’ve actually seen it , in the skies over the lake, and not just any lake, our lake, Skaneateles. From the bottom of my heart, I love you all,” Castel wrote.
In response, he received about 500 emails expressing sadness at the news and asking them not to go.
“The response has been fantastic,” Castel said. “I had no idea how much we’ve touched this community.”
The emails he received, some of which Castel shared with the Press, included comments such as,
—“Walking up the stone path to the front door was always like ‘coming home’ because we knew on the other side of the door would be family waiting with kisses and a loving embrace. Sitting next to the fire with friends, or with those who would fast become friends, was always a special treat one can find only at Joelle’s. More than a restaurant, more than the serving of wonderful and unique dishes, Joelle’s had the ability to improve the quality of life itself… in ways we’ll never forget.”
—“So sorry to hear this. You have brought beautiful food, a sense of spirit and love to our community.”
—“Say it isn’t so! We can’t tell how shocked and saddened we are by this news but life does have a way of changing things. We want you to know that we’ve shared some wonderful memories and meals and wine with you that we will always cherish.”
—“We will miss you so much. Your restaurant was so special to us, and we always came for special occasions.”
—“We will miss you so very much! You have been a treasure for the entire CNY region, and will be very sorely missed!”
—“Bittersweet is my emotion. Bitter for knowing that this incredible experience will not continue, but sweet for having had the wonderful opportunity to get to know you, Joelle and your staff. Please know that you have created a wonderful experience which will remain in memory forever.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.