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Foreclosure auction for Blaser’s Fireside Tavern in Hopkinton postponed

A foreclosure auction scheduled to take place yesterday for a well-known Hopkinton restaurant was postponed after the owners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last week.

A parking lot sale of Blaser’s Fireside Tavern at 157 Main St. had been scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., but an auctioneer said it was rescheduled for June 17 due to the last-minute filing.

Terry and Nancy Blaser, who have owned the business since 1999, declined to comment yesterday on the auction or bankruptcy.

According to the bankruptcy filing, the two owe outstanding payments to a handful of creditors, including the Bank of New Hampshire, their mortgage lender and the town of Hopkinton.

Town Tax Collector Charles Gangel said the business had only recently fallen behind on a tax bill of $5,700. He said the Blasers had been notified of an impending tax lien, which would have taken effect April 24. (That date also has been postponed due to the bankruptcy).

Filing for Chapter 7 delays the foreclosure process and provides time to cure a mortgage default or renegotiate with a lender.

Don Bartenstein, a local musician who performs occasionally at the restaurant, said he was surprised to hear about the auction, but had heard rumors that the business was dealing with some financial struggles.

“I love the place,” he said. “Just a very friendly, local watering hole kind of place.”

The restaurant is located on a 1.26-acre parcel next to Kimball Pond and is assessed at $371,700. It seats about 125 guests and includes an upstairs apartment.

The building itself has a rich history. It was built as a home by Joseph Mills in the mid-19th century and was passed down to his son and then his grandson, who sold it in the 1930s to Harold Kimball, a prominent businessman for whom the pond is named. The building was sold in 1983 and operated as a restaurant, called Horseshoe Tavern, until the late-1990s.

According to an undated Union Leader article filed in the town’s assessing records, the Blasers purchased the property for $95,000 and have put at least $300,000 in renovations into it, including new plumbing, floors and ceilings. They also installed a bar, a tap system and walk-in refrigerator.

Note: This article was revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated that the tavern building was converted into a restaurant in 1983. It was converted sometime before that.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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