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Roy's Place Up For Sale

The landmark sandwich shop has been serving the hungry residents of Gaithersburg since 1971.

Could Roy's Place be headed to "sandwich heaven"?

The landmark restaurant, which has made it's home in Olde Towne for more than 40 years and welcomes guests of its website to "Sandwich Heaven," will be put up for auction on April 28, unless a deal can be struck with the restaurant's loan holder.

The 3,280-square-foot building on a 26,826-square-foot lot at 2 and 4 E. Diamond Ave., will be shown tomorrow, April 12, and April 19, then sold to the highest bidder, according to Tranzon.com, an online auction house.

But Ramon Chavez, the store's general manager, said there's a chance the sale might be averted.

"I'm being told by Melinda (Passin, the owner and Roy Passin's wife) that we're not going anywhere," he said. "It's more of a personal matter than a business matter."

Melinda Passin was not immediately available for comment.

That matter has to do with the restaurant's private loan holder, Chavez said.

"The guy we have our loan with wanted to put it out for auction to safeguard himself," Chavez added. "All I can tell you is it's not going to happen."

The property is being sold two years after owner and namesake Roy Passin passed away at age 87.

His wife, Melinda Passin, is now the majority owner, but several of his children are part owners.

Roy's is famous for it's menu of more than 200 sandwiches, each one with a unique and often tongue-in-cheek name.

Favorites include: Father's Defeat—three hot Italian pork sausages, broiled provolone cheese with fried onions, green, peppers and rat sauce on French bread; Lassie's Revenge—one knockwurst (sausage), provolone cheese, bacon, fried onions and baked beans on a hard roll; and the Pocohontas—lobster salad, ham, Swiss cheese, golden sauce, all broiled on choice of bread.

Maryland tax records value the property at just over $1.26 million, and it has a class B liquor license.

The buyer has to pay $50,000 at the time of purchase, according to the auction house details.

Mayor Sidney Katz said he frequently eats at Roy's.

"It would be very, very sad if it happened," he said of the auction. "It's an absolute landmark, an institution."

But, he added, economic development in Olde Towne might not be set back too severely if a sale does happen.

"I don't know if, from a business standpoint, this would be just negative," he said. "It could be positive, too," if the location were continued as a restaurant or redeveloped.

The first Roy's location opened in Rockville in August 1955, according to the restaurant's website. In 1971 the Olde Towne location opened, after being built to resemble to Point of Rocks railroad station.

Bob Hydorn April 11, 2011 at 07:24 PM
This will be a very sad day if Roy's is auctioned off.
tonic226 April 12, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Hopefully who ever buys this place will keep the Roy's tradition alive. With all the new residential development in the area, I would think this property would hold value in the long term. The restaurant could use more lighting though and maybe an expanded patio area.

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