From the moment that a business closes its doors and becomes abandoned, it finds itself up against a struggle to hold itself off from the ravages of time and from vandals. The owners lock the doors, cover the windows with plywood and walk away with the keys in hand thinking that the building will be safe until a suitable buyer can be found.
It doesn't take long however for local youth to discover these properties and to take over the area. It may find new life as a skateboard park, a popular spot to tag with graffiti or just to drink; but the business is once again open and to a much different kind of clientele.
Soon youth boredom turns to curiosity and curiosity turns to mischief. Wood is torn off of the windows and before long a rock makes its way through the window. The business is now open under new management - and that management is destruction.
When this restaurant and pub first closed approximately 2004, it was photographed and put onto this website. At the time there wasn't much hope that entry could be made inside. The location was not very exciting; just another restaurant. And there it remained largely forgotten about.
Between the time this building was abandoned and today, all hell has broken loose inside. Much of the interior is smashed or water damaged. The carpet is soaked, the roof is damaged and holes to be found in many of the walls. A pungent damp smell lingers in the main dining room. Graffiti is everywhere inside and out. What was once an office is now a mess of broken glass and destroyed building materials.
Outside of the building someone has attempted to set the rear door on fire. Glass litters the parking lot as well as building materials dragged outside and smashed.
On April 13, 2008 an off-duty police officer observed three fourteen-year old youths spray painting this property. He arrested two of the three youths and the third was caught later.
It was not always like this. The Cedar Hut was a well known eating establishment with annual revenues of approximately $1 million dollars. It was just one of many of George Katsoukis's restaurants located in Sudbury including Cullpeppers and Dionysos.
In the basement, Tommyknockers Pub entertained a younger crowd. It contained a small stage for bands to perform, two pool tables and a shuffleboard. Dave, the owner of the pub also operated another Sudbury pub under the name of Tommy's Not Here.
On this particular day in July 2009, I was somewhat concerned about making entry. After a few minutes to gather my courage, I hopped inside for a look. After approximately 10 minutes of taking photos, I made my way to the basement.
I was poking around Tommyknockers when my heart stopped. I heard voices, female voices, above me. I quickly decided which doorway I would use to quickly exit the building and head to my car. After listening a little further, I realized that these were young voices.
I went upstairs and approached a room containing three young teens. They appeared to have a bong set up on one of the tables and were chatting away. Upon seeing me, they didn't seem all that surprised.
My first question, "How did you get in here?"
"We used the door."
At this point I recalled having to crawl through broken glass because I didn't think to try the door. Duh.
I told them that I was only taking photos and would be out of their way in a bit. They assured me that they were not the ones who'd smashed the place - which I believed was probably true.
When I was done, I jokingly yelled to them not to "smash the place" while I was gone and with that I made my way outside.
The property owner (Rona) intends to demolish this building to expand their nearby business. As of mid-July the building's windows had been sealed back up by the company.
A demolition permit was issued for the property July 31 in a statement made by Eric Taylor, an official with the city's planning department. Heavy equipment has been brought onto the property and demolition fencing erected.
Inside video is available if you click on the multimedia section.