SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — An iconic Massachusetts restaurant and wedding venue is closing its doors.
Owner Monte Ferris issued a press release Monday night, saying he will be closing the Venus de Milo and putting the property up for sale.
Ferris says the closure is in part due to the “expected long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.” Currently, the business is open for takeout only Friday through Sunday.
The Venus is a family-run business, first started by the Ferris family in 1959. It started as a duckpin bowling alley, but the operation changed into a full-time restaurant and banquet facility when ten-pin bowling became more popular.
“It’s hard to sell the facility because that’s been my life,” Ferris said. “I’ve been there since I was 11, 12 years old.”
Ferris says he is now moving toward retirement, but the restaurant will still be able to serve its famous dishes, despite the closure.
Some of the customer favorites, like its award-winning baked stuffed lobster or minestrone soup will be available through a new takeout business called Venus Foods.
The takeout will be offered through Jillian’s Sports Pub & Grill on Route 103 in Somerset with plans to expand to a location in the greater Providence area. Venus Foods will also continue to sell the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter take-out dinners that the Venus de Milo became well known for over the years.
Ferris says deposits for banquets, weddings and events that have been booked at the Venus de Milo will be returned immediately. Gift certificates will be honored for takeout and dine-in at Jillian’s.
The property is listed for sale at $4,750,000 with MG Commercial of Providence. It’s seven and a half acres with a 59,000 square foot function facility. Ferris said it could be a good site for a mixed-use development of condominiums and commercial enterprises.
A previously announced news conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was cancelled.