Until earlier this month, the man at the helm of Fat Mozartt Inc. held the fate of Hatboro’s oldest building in his hands.
That was until the Collegeville-based company defaulted on its mortgage for the Old Mill Inn, 18 Horsham Road in Hatboro. The shuttered restaurant and former grist mill, which sits adjacent to Pennypack Creek, now belongs to TD Bank, according to documents filed April 8 with the Montgomery County recorder of deeds office in Norristown.
Jennifer Morneau, TD Bank spokeswoman for commercial and small business, said Friday that it was too soon to know what lies in store for the 18th century building. Morneau said it takes time for the bank to review paperwork and plot a course of action.
“It’s individualized for the property,” Morneau said. “If it’s a piece that’s ready to sell and we believe that there’s interest in the market to acquire the property, we would obviously look to get it out to sell.”
Morneau said properties could be sold at public or private auction, although that is not always the case.
“There’s no general guidelines,” she said.
Officials have said the restaurant sustained substantial flood damage, perhaps the reason it was closed in the first place. The previous owners, John and Barbara Reinhold of Fat Mozartt Inc., bought the Old Mill Inn in July 2002 for $550,000, according to deeds documents. By 2004, records show that the original lien was satisfied and another mortgage was taken out for just over $1 million with Commerce Bank, which was later acquired by TD Bank.
Residents have been pondering the fate of the Old Mill Inn for several weeks. A woman asked Hatboro Borough Council what could be done to fix it up and possibly reopen it. Council President Marianne Reymer said that since the property is privately owned, and not borough-owned the governing body could not get involved in making repairs.
Other residents have shared their ideas for saving the Old Mill Inn and converting the flood-prone establishment into a museum of sorts to house Hatboro’s history.
“Why not display history in a building that is part of our history?” A woman wrote in the comments section of Hatboro-Horsham Patch. “If the building was renovated properly to avoid flooding it would be a perfect place for historical items. I would like to see something done with it instead of being knocked down.”
Prior to regulations prohibiting construction in flood zones, the Old Mill Inn was said to be built in 1720. In August of 1777, Gen. George Washington used the mill to grind grain for his troops en route to an encampment at the Moland House on the Neshaminy Creek, where General Lafayette joined the Army. The structure became a restaurant in 1918.