Owner Russ Slater and restaurant manager Tara Rocque stand in front of the Carillon Restaurant. After 24 years of serving the Ticonderoga community, the Carillon will be closing its doors at the end of the month.
After 24 years of serving the Ticonderoga community, the Carillon Restaurant will be closing its doors at the end of the month.
“We’ve been here 24 years and we’re sorry to see the end,” Carillon owner Russ Slater said. “We’ll miss all our friends and customers, and guests that over the years have become our family here.”
Slater opened the Carillon on Hague Road when he was 25 years old, a few years after moving from his home town, Brant Lake, to Schenectady and Rhode Island to work in the restaurant business. He decided to settle down in the Adirondacks where he grew up.
“After working in so many other establishments I always wanted to run my own business and make my own decisions,” Slater said. “Up until lately I was able to do that.”
Slater said decreased revenue due to the economic times have encouraged him to close the restaurant.
“Sales have decreased, not a tremendous amount, but it is enough that it helps make the decision for early retirement a little easier,” Slater said.
The eight Carillon staff members were informed Oct. 10 that they would be looking for new employment by the end of the month.
Tara Rocque, who has managed the restaurant for the past 14 years, said the restaurant’s customers and staff have become more like a family than co-workers.
“This isn’t just a place we come to so we can pay our bills. This news is similar to a death in the family; everyone has been extremely emotional on every front,” Rocque said tearfully. “The customers and the community as a whole have become our family and we are going to miss this place.”
The future for the Carillon site is still unclear accordingly to building owner Farley Tierney III of Ticonderoga. Tierney said it was a surprise to him when he was told Slater would be terminating his long time lease.
“I didn’t see it coming, but I wish him the best of luck. I know a lot of people will miss the place,” Tierney said.
Tierney has thought about opening a similar restaurant in the space, but since his work requires a lot of travel it could not happen for several years.
“Once the Carillon is closed the property may stay empty for a while until I can make more arrangements,” Tierney said.
There have been a few inquiries from local restaurant owners and potential new restaurants about renting the space but no official offer has been made, he said.
The Carillon has been a dining experience for the Ticonderoga area for the past 24 years, where guests have enjoyed fresh baked bread, steak, seafood and pasta dishes in view of the trademark fish tank.
To Slater, the Carillon was a chance to run his own business and make his own rules. He loves the connection he has been able to have with the community through his restaurant.
“One of the things I have enjoyed the most about running this business is the people coming in that are in a great mood, because you wouldn’t go out to eat in a bad mood right?” Slater said. “It is also a wonderful feeling when customer leaves happy because we gave them a terrific meal and experience.”