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New Old Trail Inn owner to hold public auction
|Messenger Photo by Sean V. Lehosit
|(Pictured left to right) Michael Sliemers, James Burns, John Burns and Richard Jenkins are the team behind the July 28 public auction. John plans to use the funds raised to give his restaurant a fresh look and updated interior.
While numerous projects are in development on the Westside, some things never change. One such legacy is Old Trail Inn, which has served the residents of Prairie Township for more than 60 years.
Lincoln Village resident John Burns purchased the neighborhood restaurant last year. Burns is paying homage to the buildings history by revamping it under the name, Burnzie’s Old Trail, which is slated to open around September.
Burns plans to update the facility with a fresh look, including a new paint job, an expanded food menu, televisions and a subscription to the NFL Network. These upgrades will be funded through a public auction at 10 a.m. on July 28.
The late Val Boehm opened the restaurant in 1947. Boehm passed away five years ago, but patrons remember his establishment as an oasis of American food and cold beer, decorated by original paintings, antique guns and relics of the area’s past like old photos of township police officers.
According Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker, this is a proud community of residents who are loyal to local businesses. He said Old Trail Inn has been a fixture in the community and he is glad to see the venue kept up and not become a vacated property.
Richard Jenkins, auctioneer for Results Real Estate, said the restaurant is filled with one-of-a-kind treasures. One of the hundreds of items for auction is an original porcelain sign for the Gambrinus Brewing Co., which operated out of the Brewery District between 1906 and1919.
Jenkins expects a popular item to be a 25-foot long canvas painting of the National Road that hangs behind the bar. The canvas was painted by local artist Ivan Pusecker, who is known for overseeing the construction of the “The Walk-O-Wonders” exhibit once featured at the Great Western Shopping Center.
There are also railroad collectibles, ranging from lanterns to vintage locomotive models.
Jenkins said there is an entertainment value in just attending an auction. However, when bidding he recommends raising your hand and keeping it up.
Michael Sliemers, broker and consultant for Results Real Estate, said new businesses create traffic that drives further investments into the community. He said it is exciting to see support rally around places like Old Trail Inn.
“It’s like the ‘Cheers’ of the Westside,” Sliemers said.
There will be a public preview of the auction from 3-7 p.m. on July 27 at Old Trail Inn, 72 S. Grener Ave.
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