Patsel’s was ‘a special place’

June 10th, 2015 9:33 am - updated: 9:33 am.

First Posted: 9/2/2014

Guests arrived at the door early to greet Patsel’s owners Pat and John Atkins.

Approximately 120 friends, family and customers attended the Grand Finale Evening on Aug. 31 to help the Atkins couple commemorate Patsel’s closing.

Champagne flowed throughout the evening as folks mingled at the cocktail party that featured live music and a variety of hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Michael Bodner and his staff.

Pat and John Atkins opened Patsel’s on Aug. 31, 1999, offering customers “cultural cuisine” amidst a distinctive décor of commissioned art and an expansive garden. While Pat Atkins noted everybody says it must be bittersweet to close the restaurant, “It really is bitter because I have really loved this business,” she said.

“It has been a great ride – a great 15 years. It (Patsel’s) has been a great gift to the community. I didn’t realize until we announced we were going to retire how much it meant to so many people.”

Husband John said neither he nor Pat expected “it to go this far.”

“She (Pat) only predicted five years and she’d be bored. At seven years, she changed her mind and we are almost not willing to give this up,” he said. “I think we’ve been incredibly blessed with our clientele who have been here many, many times. They have been so supportive and always congratulatory. There are some people tonight we only met because they came to the restaurant and then they’ve come month after month.”

Longtime customers and friends Ann Moskovitz and her husband, 109-year-old Leo, have celebrated many special occasions at Patsel’s. Ann said, “It’s a sad situation to be here for the closing. This is such a great restaurant and they are so good to everybody. They brought something to the area that wasn’t here before.”

Clarks Summit resident Susan Brady said her favorite thing about Patsel’s was the Sunday brunch. “We were lucky enough that Pat and John asked us to come before they opened for their dry run. We were here at the beginning and now we’re here at the end. It is a loss for the community. We travel all over the place; there’s nothing like this anywhere. It’s a special place.”