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Twisted Thistle restaurant in Leechburg up for sale for $1.5M

October 27, 2018 GMT

A Leechburg eatery in a historic building is on the market.

Twisted Thistle restaurant, an upscale dining spot located at 127 Market St., is listed for $1.5 million with Coldwell Banker of Fox Chapel.

Owner Linda Alworth assures her customers the restaurant will remain open and operating as usual while on the market.

“I have thought about this (selling) for the last two years,” Alworth said. “I want to have more time to paint and spend time with my granddaughter. I had an accident three years ago, and my body is telling me it’s time to slow down.”

Alworth, 64, a self-described “renovation queen,” credits her hard-working, farm-girl ethic to her rural childhood growing up in Washington Township.

“I told my staff this week. I want someone to buy this place and get the upstairs open. I want someone to finish my vision,” Alworth said.

She envisions guest rooms upstairs above the restaurant on the main floor.

Financing was always problematic, Alworth said.

“Renovating 27 guest rooms upstairs will cost millions,” she said.

Alworth purchased what is now the Twisted Thistle in 2009 for $100,000.

The four-story building was formerly the Penn-Lee Hotel, and before that the National Hotel and the Twaddle Hotel. Built in 1902, the building was slated for demolition when Alworth bought it and made more than $1 million in renovations.

Twisted Thistle serves as the caterer for the Lingrow Farm banquet and event facility in Gilpin, also owned by Alworth.

The building is more than 24,000 square feet and includes a pub on one side, a large dining area and a private dining room.

“Turnkey means it’s sold with everything -- the fixtures, a fully-trained staff, custom artwork. You can take this business and take it to the next level, ” said realtor Joe Weltner.

Alworth said although the decision is bittersweet, she notes that she won’t be far away, since she continues to own and operate The Garden Room across the street from Twisted Thistle.

“This is a destination restaurant,” said real estate agent Katrina Charles. ”“There is tons of potential here.”

“I’m going to miss all the patrons, my employees,” Alworth said. “I hope they will be here because they are the people that make Twisted Thistle rock and roll.”