The former Fagiani’s building, a well-known downtown property that over time has been home to a boarding house, restaurants, bar and liquor store –- and also the scene of a murder — has been listed for sale. The asking price is $3.9 million.
“My partners and I are into a couple other ventures,” said owner Steve Hasty, adding that the sale would free up capital.
The developer purchased the century-old building in late 2007 from longtime owner Muriel Fagiani.
“There seems to be interest in buying in downtown,” Hasty said. “We felt with the rebranding it’d be a good time to put it out there.”
After he completely remodeled the building and added a third story, a hospitality group called AvroKO opened the Thomas Restaurant and Fagiani’s bar in 2012. In July, AvroKO closed the Thomas restaurant and bar and reopened with a new chef under the name, NineBark.
“It’s a true trophy property,” said Hasty, explaining the $3.9 million asking price. ““It’s a prominent piece of architecture. It’s the centerpiece of that stretch of Main Street.”
Hasty said he paid $1.5 million for the rundown building, then put a lot of money into it. The building underwent a complete seismic retrofit, third-floor addition and all new infrastructure.
“It was a substantial investment,” he said.
Early city records and a postcard from the fall of 1910 verify that the building was once home to a business called the Thomas Restaurant, and that its second story had been a boarding house.
Nick Fagiani purchased the building in 1945 to open a combination bar and liquor store. In 1974, his daughter, Anita Andrews, was killed in the bar by a drifter named Roy Melanson. For years after the murder, the building remained closed, dust settling on the remaining glasses and bartop.
In 2011, Melanson was convicted of killing the 51-year-old Andrews.
It took some time to convince Muriel Fagiani to sell him the property, but the two became close in the process, said Hasty, adding, “I knew Muriel very well.”
Once she sold him the property, Fagiani said the building was his to do with as he wished, Hasty said. “I think she would have been very pleased with what we did with it.”
“I have mixed feelings about selling it,” said Hasty. “It means a lot to me.”
But now the building “has new life,” he said. “Whoever buys it at this point will appreciate it and care for it.”
Editor's Note: This story has been modified to correct the year in which the Thomas Restaurant opened.