Bentleys “Will Rock Again”: Ruggieri Update

John G. Ruggieri, Owner/Operator of New Bentleys Restaurant

John G. Ruggieri, Owner/Operator of New Bentleys Restaurant Photo credit: Looney and Grossman

Woodstock Early Birds, we have been in touch with John Ruggieri who is one of the partners who will be re-establishing Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock and the place he and partner Maria Feddura will call RiverStones in Quechee (aka Firestones.)

Here is a summary of our questions and Ruggieri’s answers. As you all know by now, Ruggieri is Boston real estate attorney and a Barnard resident, having owned property there for many years. Maria Feddura has been part of Boston’s “The Daily Catch” restaurant franchise.

1. Who will be in charge of the new business/restaurant?

Preliminarily, overall management of the two (2) businesses will rest with Maria Feddura, a 40 year veteran of the restaurant business, and “key” on-site managers at each location. Folks will definitely see some familiar faces. I will be occasionally on site, mostly weekends.

2. Will former owners Bill Decklebaum and David Creech be involved?

For legal reasons, Bill and David will not be involved in ownership or management.

3. WEB rather lamely asked about a person she only knew as “The Plastic Surgeon” and about a former partner in the restaurant Bob Crowe — Will they be involved in the new business?

The “Plastic Surgeon” is Richard out of New York. He is the Manager of Oliver Block, LLC, our Landlord.

As I noted in the release, he is committed to the revitalization of Woodstock and Quechee (obviously, as a significant property owner), and he has provided what we believe are fair and reasonable rents and terms.

Oliver Block LLC is not involved in our business in any way, otherwise.

As to Robert Crowe, the person who David and Bill took steps to dismiss from his position with their now defunct companies, I will defer to their press release, as it speaks for itself.

Suffice it to say, we would have no contact, or involvement with Mr. Crowe, under any circumstances.

4. Will the Bentleys entity be “Daily Catch” fish-related? Will there be a new menu? Is the kitchen BIG ENOUGH for doing things properly?

We certainly do intend to “spruce up” the menus, perhaps most notably with some enticing specials –perhaps fish, Italian fare, etc additions. However, the restaurants will not be related to the Daily Catch franchise and seafood based menu.

Almost universally, we have heard that betterment is in order, but no one is seeking a wholesale change from the comfortable fare that Bentleys served.

We are now “cleaning out” and reorganizing the kitchen and work areas. We shall have ample room to operate, and put out excellent food to the patrons.

As to on-site presence, between Maria and I, and our newly to-be-installed “key” people, we are confident operations will be fun smoothly, efficiently, and profitably.

5. No offense to the great people (mostly) who have worked at Bentleys but that place was getting old, tired ….as you probably saw the bar was getting emptier and emptier and the reputation in town has been “do NOT eat at Bentley’s”?

It is our intent to change that feeling 180 degrees! With a great clean out, attention to detail, food quality and the bar, the place will “rock” again.

Also, we intend to bring back the décor that was the “best” of years gone by, and in addition, revitalize entertainment at both locations.

Excellent music, live pleasant performances, and a great atmosphere for both locals and visitors to enjoy!

Stay tuned!!!

Woodstock Early Birds, we will meet soon with Mr. Ruggieri and get some firmer dates for re-opening. We know one and all would love that brown paper on the windows to come on down once again. We also miss some of our friends and neighbors who provided us with such a welcoming watering hole.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hope McLaughlin on March 25, 2013 at 15:14



  2. Posted by Paulette Osborne on March 25, 2013 at 16:56

    That’s really nice to hear in some ways. I hope they get rid of the “Applebees” look and go back to the old decor as mentioned by John. I wish them the best of luck.


  3. Posted by on March 25, 2013 at 18:00

    Wonderfully informative! Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. Posted by steve o on March 25, 2013 at 18:38

    Mix 1 part ‘malicious intent’ & 2 parts ‘asleep at the wheel’ & you have brown paper in the windows of a local institution. I wish the new ownership well, but they should know that it was the staff that made Bentley’s what it was, not the owners.
    If andrew, nikki, corrine, clay & the rest of the folks are not hired back, a lot of us will be very disappointed. Kate & I had our wedding there on 9/10/11 (most fun wedding in the history of this storied town) and to see all new faces would be sad for many of us.


  5. Posted by Molly on March 26, 2013 at 17:44

    If John Ruggieri does not hire back this excellent staff, I won’t be going there very much as I did when Andrew, Nikki, Careen, Paul W., Amy, Ali, etc. were there to greet and serve us. The place will lost a lot of loyal customers….so beware, Mr.R!
    Thanks, Julia. This blog was highly informative!


  6. I am very excited to see the place revamped, however am in full agreement with previous comments. Bentleys Will only be a local succes with the faces of the employees the locals love to see returning!!!!!


  7. Posted by Linda Caruso on March 29, 2013 at 14:31

    Sorry you found it necessary to include do NOT eat at Bentley’s heard on the street. I think it’s called “kicking them when they’re down.”


  8. Posted by Robin on April 2, 2013 at 15:54

    I’m sure the former staff feels great about your loyalty, however some may have decided to move onto other things. The impulse to say “you better, or I won’t come”, seems a bit petulant.

    As a former employee, and someone who is very fond of Bill and Dave…I do wish the new owners well. I hope everyone will give them a chance and accept that they have the right to make the changes they think are best for a successful business.


  9. Posted by barb on May 7, 2013 at 13:25

    went today for the 1st time back from fl…….not impressed….missed some staff, not such a warm welcome……burger way over done, no compensation for error……weak drinks…….FYI bentlys 5% card no longer valid…….will be a while again now……


    • Barb,

      Unfortunately have to agree. It’s open again and that’s about all. We have had several reports of and experienced less than attentive bar tending…less than welcoming energy and left because no one offered us menus or food. WEB


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