The historic Odd Fellows Building on the corner of 3rd and St. Ann streets was sold at auction for $610,000 Thursday, though that sale is subject to right of refusal by Partners Restaurant Inc. (which is doing business as both Colby’s restaurant and cafe). Regardless of who will eventually own the building, nothing will change regarding the operation of Colby’s.
The winning bid came from Eric Belcher, owner of Maurice Pools & Spas. Belcher said he was born and raised in Daviess County, so he’s “very fond” of both the Odd Fellows Building and Colby’s restaurant.
“It’s always been an iconic building in Owensboro,” he said. “I think it will remain that way. I’m interested in history and old buildings, so that’s what kind of naturally drew me towards it. As far as immediate plans for the future, the opportunities are endless, but I’m sure there will be a bright future for it.”
Belcher said should the sale go through, the idea would be to keep Colby’s as it is and focus on the second third floor of the building. He said there would need to be some renovations regardless of any decisions on how to utilize the spaces.
Though his bid was accepted, Belcher said he knows the building isn’t his yet and knows the right of refusal could come into play.
Colby MacQuarrie owns both the restaurant and cafe featuring his name. MacQuarrie is also the president and a partner of Partners Restaurant Inc.
“Written in our lease, we have 90 days first right of refusal. So whatever the offer is … we have 90 days to determine whether it’s realistic for us to buy,” MacQuarrie said. “Basically we’re able to match the price that’s paid.”
Essentially, Restaurant Partners Inc. could exercise their right to match the terms and conditions of the contract that was agreed upon by the Odd Fellows, buying the building themselves for $610,000 rather than allowing Belcher to purchase it.
As far as whether there is any intent to do that, MacQuarrie said “I really can’t answer that.”
The three-story Odd Fellows building was built in the 1890s and contains 22,255 total square feet. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The main level houses Colby’s Fine Food & Spirits and contains 6,170 square feet. There are about 15 years left on Colby’s lease of the space.
The second level totals 7,185 square feet and consists mostly of professional or office spaces. Some of the area has been updated with flooring and paint. It includes two bathrooms.
The third level also totals 7,185 square feet and has an open concept that could be used for several opportunities ranging from commercial to residential. It includes a kitchen and one bathroom.
The sale also included property located at 206 W. 3rd Street, which is still part of the same building. This area of the building includes ½ office areas, a kitchen area, and a bathroom spread out over 1,615 square feet.
The building was auctioned by Kurtz Auction & Realty Co.