WEST SPRINGFIELD — The owner of the Hangar restaurants in Westfield, Agawam, South Hadley, Pittsfield and Greenfield as well as the Hangar Pub and Brewery in Amherst has purchased the former Hofbrauhaus in West Springfield and has already spoken with the town about extensive renovations.
Those renovations may include — but it’s not definite — a brewery like the one in Amherst, said West Springfield Building Commissioner Jay Steup. He said a brewery, with its heated tanks and pressurized vessels, requires sprinklers. But the use as a brewery and a restaurant is allowed under the neighborhood’s business zoning.
The building is officially at 1105 Main St. It is most identified with and most visible from Memorial Avenue.
Hangar owner Harold Tramazzo didn’t respond to calls Tuesday.
He opened the newest Hangar location in Agawam, at the former Michaels Pasta in the Pan at 395 River Road, in February.
Tramazzo opened the Hangar in Amherst in 1999 and took over Amherst Brewing in 2015, eventually co-locating the businesses into The Hangar Pub and Brewery at 10 University Drive.
He bought the West Springfield property Nov. 12 for $500,000 from a company controlled by Joe Stevens, the most recent operator of the Hofbrauhaus, according to papers on file at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.
The property includes three parcels covering just more than 1.3 acres: the building at 1105 Main St. and neighboring plots at 1097 Main and 89-91 New Bridge streets. The 15,000-square-foot Hofbrauhaus opened in 1935.
There was another, smaller building at the corner of Main and New Bridge streets included in the sale, according to registry records.
Stevens said Tuesday that he’d often considered the idea of creating a brewery there himself. He bought the restaurant in 1995 ran it for nearly 26 years.
At first it was a white-tablecloth German restaurant in the old-world tradition. Later, Stevens and his wife, Lisa, tried to pivot with the short-lived 1105 Main, a more causal restaurant with a barbecue menu and sports on television.
“It’s a big piece of property,” Stevens said. “In that far room the ceilings are 20 feet. It could be a real showcase, visible as you come across the bridge.”
Stevens said his age and tough competition in West Springfield convinced him to sell, although he’s still a professional chef and will run his food concessions at the Big E.
1105 Main didn’t reopen after the 2019 Big E.
Jeremy Casey, managing partner of SR Commercial Realty, represented Stevens, and announced the sale this week.
He said the deal was in the works for months, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“They stayed in it even though a lot of restaurants in the area were going out of business,” Casey said, adding that he’s seeing a lot of demand from potential buyers of commercial property.
“You’ve got everything that you would really want in that space that a new style of restaurant is looking for,” Casey said. “West Springfield is a really good location in the epicenter of everything.”