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New owners taking over Townhouse

One of the city's oldest restaurants, Debbie's Townhouse, is changing hands.

Owner Debbie Kanaris sold the restaurant at 104 Main St. to Volker "Bob" and Claudia Bergman, who will take over Aug. 1. The new name will be Bob's Townhouse.

Originally built in 1948 the restaurant is commonly called The Townhouse, though the owner's first name was usually part of the formal title. The Townhouse is primarily a breakfast and lunch site for retirees and courthouse workers.

The Bergmans say they intend to make very few changes in those strong business areas. They plan to keep the Townhouse open an hour later, until 9 p.m., to try to build up the dinner trade.

"We're going to be making some cosmetic changes on the inside, to try and create a different ambience," Claudia Bergman said. "But the menu will stay mostly the same."

The Bergmans, both 34, emigrated from their native Germany in December with plans to purchase the Townhouse. Claudia Bergman has retail store management experience and Bob worked in catering. This is their first restaurant. They reside in Inverness.

They plan to offer some German and European dishes occasionally as special menu items, but other than that, the menu will remain with the basic American cuisine the restaurant has always served.

"It's very difficult to find German foods of the same quality here that we're used to, so we'll only offer them from time to time," Bob Bergman said.

The Townhouse will be closed Wednesday to undergo some painting and will reopen Thursday under new ownership.

Kanaris will continue to operate her other restaurant, Emily's Family Restaurant, 7181 W Cardinal St., Homosassa. She operated Debbie's Townhouse for seven years."