From $1 to $1 million, ‘Maggies’ is sold

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:31 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - ‘Maggie’s On The River’ is one of the most popular bars and restaurants in Watertown, and now being sold for a million dollars.

But that wasn’t always the case.

The same property was once purchased for a single dollar.

“Whether it’d be worth a million dollars at some point, we would have found that hard to believe,” said Ken MIx, now the Watertown city manager and for many years, the city’s planner.

The building which is now Maggie’s, on Newell Street, has a long and storied history: it was a flour mill in the late 1800s, a thermometer manufacturer in the early 1900s, a warehouse, and in 2000, the city acquired the property for non-payment of back taxes for $1.

At the time, the building’s future was less than certain.

“One of the options was to demolish it and just make a park along there,” Mix said.

But Mix explained the park idea went out the window when the city was approached by Red Lion Brewing Company, a project that the Watertown Local Development Corporation invested in.

“There were jobs that were going to be created in that part of town,” said Don Rutherford, head of the Local Development Corporation.

But after rehabbing the building and operating for several years, the brewery went out of business.

The property was later bought by Reginald Schweitzer and other associates in 2009 for $300,000.

Schweitzer and his associates put in a lot of money to revamp the property.

Now the neighborhood has Maggie’s, another bar, a juice bar and an apartment building, an example of what can grow from just one building being saved and reused.

“I think it’s a great example of what some of these old buildings can get reused as. And it’s the sort of examples we see in other cities that we want to have happen here in ours,” Schweitzer said.

Schweitzer is in the process of selling the property to Maggie’s current manager - Tyler Bartlett - for a price tag of $1 million.

Bartlett says he’s excited to continue investing in the building and the business.

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