I was on my appointed rounds today when I noticed an unexpected change in the scenery – a SOLD sign on a long-derelict building that sits on the state road through town.
Old-timers in town still refer to it as Belli’s, but it’s had a few other names over the years. It began around 1926 as a candy store, owned by a man named Santi Belli. It passed through the family, and on to other owners before it closed in the early 60s. At its zenith it had been known as a happening spot, a local nightclub boasting 300 tables, and even at one point, cage dancers. It was big doings.
For the past eight years or more it’s just sat by the road, looking sadder and sadder, its roof collapsing and vines climbing over the windows. Its glory days were as long gone as the customers who would go to drink highballs and dance to big band music.
The SOLD sign is a welcome one to our town officials who were about to take on the responsibility – and major cost – of tearing it down and dealing with whatever environmental issues would ensue.
Kind of sad that the only thoughts anyone has about the place now are relief that it’s about to disappear.