Boiling Springs landmark, gutted by fire, to become restaurant, brewery

Naomi Creason
The Sentinel (TNS)

The Boiling Springs Mill had been a labor of love for Lieselotte "Lilo" Bucher.

According to her son, Joe Iwanowicz, Bucher owned the Cumberland County mill for more than 35 years, turning a somewhat dilapidated apartment building into a notable village landmark with its signature red roof. He added that she became a beloved landlord, providing housing at a fair price to a number of families.

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On Jan. 29, a fire and subsequent water damage destroyed the interior of the building, with the exception of the timber-frame structure in the bottom three floors and the limestone foundation.

"Lilo considered rebuilding, but she realized that her business acumen was in providing housing and not fire restoration," Iwanowicz said.

Bucher ended up contacting Steve Capone and partner Chris Rice at Caprice Properties for their expertise in refurbishing old structures. Capone said he'd had an interest in the mill the last few years.

The grist mill at the southern edge of Children's Lake in Boiling Springs was severely damaged by a fire in January.

"Built in 1784, the Mill has always been such an iconic symbol of Children's Lake and Boiling Springs' history," he said. "About four to five years ago, we started to envision a restaurant at the Mill that would serve residents, as well as visitors through good food, drinks and a beautiful outdoor space."

Iwanowicz said the family eventually decided to sell the property, and their work and conversations led them to Caprice.

"When the decision to sell was made, Chris and Steve were the obvious choice," he said. "While there were other offers on the property, Lilo was most confident in the abilities and enthusiasm of Steve Capone and Chris Rice. Lilo recognizes the value of the building's history and its importance to the village and hopes to see it restored and improved to remain an enduring icon of the village."

Capone explained that the mill is the group's priority currently, and they are going to get the mill secured and its site cleared before they start considering what will happen with the former Alibi's property.

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The sale was settled within the past month, and Capone said he still has plans for that restaurant at the mill.

"We plan to incorporate a restaurant, possibly a brewery," he said. "The potential for the property is exciting, and we are still exploring all ideas and options."

Capone said the intact limestone shell will be the foundation as Caprice works on renovations that they aim will keep the historic look. He said the renovation will be a priority for their team, and that they are starting work right away.

"We feel a strong commitment to Boiling Springs and the South Middleton community to restore the mill to its original splendor," he said. "Part of that commitment is a high-quality project that the community will truly be proud of. With that in mind, the realistic goal for completion is one to two years."

Caprice Properties is no stranger to renovations. The business has worked on a number of projects based in Carlisle, including Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. and One13 Social, the latter of which Capone and Rice manage with Kevin Rockwood.

"We look for opportunities to renovate and restore important historic properties that can add value to a community, wherever they are located," Capone said. "However, our preference is to remain close to the Carlisle/Boiling Springs area."