Capitol Hotel wins new owners, restaurant | News, Sports, Jobs
HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Capitol Hotel building will soon have a new owner and a new restaurant.
Brian Laratonda is selling the downtown monument to an investor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The hotel, originally built in the 1860s, was demolished and rebuilt around the turn of the century with a grand reopening in December 1905, Laratonda said.
The building has been owned by the Laratonda family since 1970 when their parents, Gene and Janet, purchased the hotel.
Brian and his brother, Lance, bought the building from their parents on a deed in 1992. In 2014, Brian bought out his brother, who bought the Old Canal Inn.
“More than fifty years later, this is where we are”, said Laratonda.
Laratonda said he thought about selling the building about five years ago but didn’t, and then came the pandemic. He said business was down about 60% since the start of the pandemic. He closed the cafe in September 2021.
The cafe was a favorite hangout for business people, but the Pipe Roombar won out. It’s still open four days a week, Laratonda said.
Laratonda said the investor interested in the property contacted him.
“After a month and a half, he convinced me and that made me happy. They will be able to run the place and fix it. It’s an established pot of gold,” said Laratonda. “The main reason he got together was because the family bought him. I’ve known them forever.
Once the sale is complete, Maddy Martinsen, owner of the Mayfield restaurant, will lease the building from the new owner and bring her restaurant into the cafe.
“I will rent the whole building” Martinsen said, noting that the building has two apartments and 13 single rooms upstairs, and most are occupied.
Mayfield opened in November 2020, during the pandemic, at 205 Allegheny St. Martinsen said she hopes to open the restaurant in her new location in late summer or early fall after the transfer from the liquor license.
The move will give more space to the restaurant.
“We only have room for 26 people. It gets loud and crowded, and with a liquor license we will be able to expand our menu in terms of drinks. This will approximately triple our seating capacity,” said Martinsen.
She also hopes to add to her menu.
“We try to have something for everyone. We have a simple kitchen. We buy locally as much as possible from vendors and farms. It’s pretty much homemade from scratch. It’s the new America, a bit of everything.” said Martinsen. “We will be adding dinner options; we want to be able to pair wine with meals.
The restaurant will continue to offer online ordering and takeout, as well as a monthly dining club where diners come for a multi-course menu to experience something a little different from the usual offering.
Hours of operation have not been set for the new location, but Martinsen said tentative plans include serving lunch and dinner.
She is excited to move to the new location.
“I have always admired the building for its historic place in Holidaysburg. When I first opened I said years later, I wish I could find a bigger place and stay in Hollidaysburg,” she says. “It was the perfect opportunity. My eyes were still on a bigger building and they were looking for a tenant.
The location in the heart of Hollidaysburg on the Diamond is an added bonus, she said.
Lancaster native Adam Baumbach, who has worked in the hospitality industry for several years, will run the restaurant for Martinsen, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University’s culinary arts program.
“We are delighted. I believe in Maddy’s philosophy that there is a plate for everyone,” said Baumbach.
Martinsen and Baumbach expect a smooth transition to the new location.
“I really appreciate the Laratonda family,” said Martinsen. “They were helpful during the process and passed on some of their family history. They were kind and accepting throughout the process.
“We appreciate that the Laratondas have maintained it for two generations, and we want to continue the work they started,” said Baumbach.
Laratonda is thrilled that Mayfield is moving into the building.
“I am delighted that Maddy is taking over. She has good ideas and will be able to update them,” said Laratonda.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.