By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
Citing his ongoing battle with stage four colon cancer, Tom Collins has sold his restaurant, the Heidelberg Inn at 352 Quaker Road in Queensbury.
“I’m still in treatment, going on three years now, and there is no end in sight,” he told The Chronicle. “It’s time Liz and I simplify things.
“We sold the business and the property to John Weber and his son, who is also named John Weber, on Dec. 4th.”
Mr. Collins would not disclose the sale price. Warren County land records indicate the real estate sold for $200,000.
Mr. Weber is president of Capital Financial Group, a subsidiary of Glens Falls National Bank. His son, John Weber, 42, said he is a 1992 South High graduate who moved back home after working in advertising and marketing in Virginia.
“We want to continue the legacy of this place,” he said. “…We knew this was the perfect opportunity for us. We want everyone to know the essence and the soul of this place.”
Mr. Collins bought The Heidelberg in July 2004 and was diagnosed with cancer in January 2012. He has chemotherapy treatments every two weeks. He said the cancer is in his liver, lungs and stomach.
“I’m doing fairly well,” he said. “I’m tolerating the chemo well, and my doctors in Boston and in Glens Falls both agree that if I can tolerate the chemo, it will slow the growth. We are hoping for a new drug or a new therapy that will possibly eradicate it. At this point, there is no cure.”
“My employees have basically been running the restaurant for the last 2½ years,” said Mr. Collins. He said the most important thing for him and his wife Liz — who is the vice-principal at Glens Falls High School — was that their employees “be taken care of…John has said he is going to continue the restaurant as it has been since 1972, and keep all of the employees. We’re really happy to see that.”
Mr. Weber confirmed that all of the employees have kept their jobs. He said the restaurant will see few noticeable changes.
He said his management will be “hands-off” as to the restaurant’s operation. He aims to “better utilize and look at the brand, maintain it and grow it. We want to re-invigorate the Heidelberg.”
He said they’ll capitalize on the heritage, “maybe bring in a band on some nights. I met the guy who says he had the first drink ever served here. Other people remember when there used to be bands. The Heidelberg is really like a time capsule, and we want to share it with everyone.”
Mr. Collins called the ownership transition “a great thing. I’m happy to see the restaurant continue, and our boys are 14 and 10 now, and Liz and I are looking forward to attending all of their events.”
An avid golfer, Mr. Collins said he still hits the links, “but I’m not walking. I’m taking a cart.” He’s also still skiing, and plans to “help out at West Mountain with their race program when I can.”
Copyright © 2014 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.