Berlin Building Closed After Snow Damages Roof

BERLIN – Weather damage to a town restaurant required emergency repairs Thursday and is projected to call for additional work next week.

The roof above Goobers, a landmark Berlin eatery on Pitt St., began showing signs of caving this week after the heavy snowfall Worcester County received last week.

“It’s buckling into the street,” said Chuck Ward, the town’s Superintendent of Planning and Zoning. “The building is not secure right now.”

While the damage isn’t very noticeable at the moment, the threat was serious enough to require the installation of temporary supports on Thursday.

According to Ward, those supports will “shore up” the structure for now and will only require shutting down the sidewalk in that area. However, more extensive repairs are planned for next week, including some “emergency demolition.”

Those repairs will mean a temporary closing of William St. Originally, the possibility of scheduling reconstruction to coincide with PNC Bank renovations was discussed, as both projects require closing sections of William St. However, it was determined that closing both sections at once would require detours and create more of a disturbance than shutting down different parts of the street on different days.

Ward brought the matter to the Historic District Commission’s (HDC) attention at their meeting Wednesday night. He explained that the HDC would not have to be involved in the project if it only constituted repairs. If the owners of the building decided that they’d like to make some changes to the exterior of the location after the reconstruction, Ward informed the commission that its approval would be needed at that point.

Rumors of a plan to completely demolish the structure were brought up. Ward confirmed that the possibility had been discussed, but was unlikely to come to a realization in the near future, citing difficulties taking on such a major financial effort in the shaky economy.

Ward promised to notify the commissioners if they needed to become involved in the project repairs.