Northeastern University has bought the property at 444-452 Huntington Ave., which is the building where the University House of Pizza and Punter’s Pub operate. NU paid $5.3 million, according to documents at the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds.
The two businesses will continue to operate at the location for at least two years.
Stephen Newman, owner of Punter’s Pub, sold the building to NU. When the Gazette stopped by the pub recently during the day, he was tending the bar. Asked how business has been, Newman said, “It’s been OK.”
“They’ve been looking at it for a longtime,” he said of NU’s interest in the building. “I’m happy to sell to them than anyone else.”
Newman said he has been there for 47 years.
NU spokesperson Matthew McDonald said in an email, “The current owners of the pub decided to sell the property and, given its proximity to our main campus, owning the site was seen as a strategic opportunity. The owners will continue to operate the pub for at least two more years; during this time the university will consider what its best utilization would be in the future.”
Tina Savvidis, who co-owns the University House of Pizza with her brother, said there have been rumors for a longtime that NU would buy the building and she knew that the university eventually would, as it owns most of the surrounding properties. But, she said, she was still shocked when Newman called to tell her about the sale a few weeks before Christmas.
Savvidis said she hadn’t talked to anyone at NU about the sale, but said the university and its students have always been “wonderful” and “supportive.”
“Everything happens for a good reason,” she said.