Word spread rapidly on Monday via text messages, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that Rulloff's Restaurant, a decades-old saloon on College Avenue, had closed without warning. The popular eatery and late-night bar, which had changed hands a few times in recent years, is now for sale.
Rulloff's on College Avenue. Photo from Pyramid Brokerage.The news broke in the Ithaca Voice that, according to Collegetown Bagels owner Gregar Brous, the restaurant's lease expired at the end of August, and was not being renewed. Staff members were called to a meeting on Monday and told the establishment was closed, and that they could pick up their final paychecks.
David Huckle of Pyramid Brokerage Company is representing the owners in the sale of the business, which is listed at $395,000. The real estate listing says the sale is for a business that currently occupies about 3,000 square feet of restaurant and bar space on the ground floor, fully equipped kitchen, and basement space with additional seating and bar space. Mr. Huckle tells 14850 Magazine, "Anyone who has interest in purchasing the business will have to still negotiate and secure a lease with the property owner."
In its heyday, Rulloff's was deservedly known for great burgers, salads, sandwiches, and steaks, and for a relaxing Sunday brunch. Recent incarnations had focused more heavily on a late-night student bar crowd, offering cheap pitchers of beer and sweet but high-alcohol-content cocktails with such highbrow names as "bitch fuel."
The saloon was named for Edward Rulloff, a 19th Century robber and murderer whose abnormally large brain is among those preserved in a Cornell Psychology Department display in Uris Hall. We're optimistic that, as long as the establishment and its kitchen and bar fixtures were left in good shape, a new owner will be able to get back up and running quickly.