WEST BRATTLEBORO — Chelsea Royal Diner owner Janet Picard calls the decision to put the business up for sale "bittersweet."

"But at the same time the restaurant business — especially our busy little diner serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with the ice cream stand — is actually too busy for ourselves as we get older. I almost hate to say that but it is reality," Picard said. "After 26 years we are ready to semi-retire."

Picard, who owns the diner with her husband, Todd Darrah, said their four children are all grown up now and live on their own.

"We have created and lived a lifestyle that has supported us over the years and now it is simply time to downsize and move on," said Picard.

The commercial/industrial property at 487 to 503 Marlboro Road in West Brattleboro is listed for $849,000. The lot size is approximately 5.24 acres.

The diner is about 3,000 square feet. The building was constructed in 1950, according to the real estate listing. The diner is in a 1938 box car and includes a total of 60 seats. And there's an ice cream stand.

The land and restaurant were previously owned by James and Margaret Levin, according to the deed.

Realtor Betsy Wadsworth said the listing has been up since the spring.

"The property also has so many opportunities with the additional buildings that have not even been tapped into," she said. "With the popularity of the ice cream, maybe it could be the tourist stop like Ben & Jerry's if the barn was converted to retail."


Currently, Chelsea Royal sells its own homemade ice cream in the summer. The diner is open seven days a week for three meals.

According to the listing, a farm on the property has a chicken coop and gardens. A three-bedroom home and large separate barn with a store front can be used for supplemental income and storage. An apartment, an art studio and a vacant 2.13-acre commercial lot is said to provide a buffer from the neighboring property. The taxes due for the entire property in 2015 totalled $17,343.

The listing describes the property as a "wonderful opportunity to own a well established and profitable business" that is "loved by both locals and travelers along the busy gateway to ski country in southern Vermont."

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

Chelsea Royal Diner
Chelsea Royal Diner (Reformer file photo)