Gilford- One of the most visible, historic landmark commercial properties in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region located at 1934 Lake Shore Road has recently sold. Nancy Clark of Roche Realty Group represented the seller, Dolphin Point Development, LLC. Tom Drouin of Roche Realty Group represented the buyer, 1084 Union Ave, LLC, an investment company in the transaction.
The property has a long-standing significance in Gilford. The Smith-Sander’s farmhouse circa 1880 is one of only four brick houses in Gilford which has seen many transitions over the years. Most famously as B. Mae Denny’s Restaurant in the late 1970s through 1990s. It is located at the busy intersection of Route 11 and 11B across from Sawyers Dairy Bar. In 2014 Dave Farley of Dolphin Point Development, LLC purchased the historic property after first leasing it. It was the perfect place for his four enterprises. Over the years, the local entrepreneur made major improvements and upgrades to the multi-tenant commercial building with vision and hard work to ensure that the historic structure would continue to have a long and viable life. Dave Farley has expanded his enterprises just up the road in a new building for additional space.
Frank Roche of Roche Realty Group remembers selling the property back in 1977 with Earl Wason. The Spanos family owned it at the time, and it was known as the Stage Inn and Restaurant, a reference to the golden years when stagecoaches would make their way from Gilford to the Seacoast. The historic Lakes Region Playhouse was operating back then, and it was always a special event to patronize the popular theater and take in some wonderful plays. The playhouse opened in 1950 and ran for over 30 years. It was a shining star on the summer theatre circuits in New England, drawing crowds to watch stars such as Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda, and other top names from Hollywood and the New York stage. The theatre was in the Harris Barn, a unique wooden structure. In 1970 Betty Grable told the audience, “Last week I played the Palladium in London, and this week I’m playing in a barn on the corner of 11 and 11B.” The old barn playhouse featured Vincent Price, Will Mahoney, Mae West, Milton Berle, Art Carney, and many others. In 1982, the doors closed for the last time, and the history of the barn came to an end when the Gilford Fire Department burned it in a controlled burn. After B. Mae Denny’s closed, the property was operated as Betha Mae’s in 2004 as an antique and collectible marketplace.
According to Tom Drouin, the investment company that purchased the property intends to continue its present operation as a multi-tenant commercial building with the existing tenants, a mix of retail shops, offices, service business, construction, and an apartment. The 16,000 sf building has been beautifully renovated and includes approximately 80 paved parking spaces on 2+ acres with 763 ft of road frontage. The building is presently divided into 11 rental units with established tenants. The grounds are meticulously landscaped with walkways and patios. You can walk to Gilford’s 1,700 ft town beach, and the Fireside Inn and Suites is next door. The closing took place at Attorney Frank Michel’s office in Meredith.
Both Nancy Clark and Tom Drouin represent sellers, buyers, and investors in the Lakes Region and can be reached at Roche Realty Groups Meredith’s office at 603-279-7046. Roche Realty Group is a leader in the Lakes Region in the sale and marketing of commercial sales and development properties.