(WBIR) The former Regas Restaurant, a long-time downtown meeting place for some of the area and region's biggest political players, has been sold for $2 million to a group of local investors, according to the paperwork filed Monday with the Knox County Register of Deed's Office.
"I can't say as of yet who they are because they don't want it made public yet, but they have a passion for Knoxville and the Regas," said Roger Moore, president of the real estate services firm Sperry Van Ness/R.M. Moore, which helped oversee the sale. "The property is important to them to maintain and as part of Knoxville's history."
Moore added that the investors, in part, also purchased the iconic building because there were other potential suitors that wanted the property but planned to demolish it."
He said the new owners, a company named Regas Property, LLC., has "no definitive plans" yet but could potentially lease the lower portion of the building for restaurant and office space.
The building, located at 318 N. Gay St. just north of Market Square, closed Dec. 31, 2010. At the time, proprietor Bill Regas said the eatery was tough to keep open as it competed with construction projects, other nearby culinary competition and an overall poor economy.
Brothers Frank and George Regas founded the restaurant in 1919.
The sales includes the iconic building, and the property and parking lot that fronts West Depot from N. Gay Street to Williams Street with the exception of a 25-foot strip owned by the City of Knoxville. The total is roughly 2.25 acres.