by Jeff Gauthier August. 05, 2007 2445 views

The backstory to these images is on my blog [].

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Jeff Gauthier 13 years, 10 months ago

[b]Brigante's to close for season, perhaps for the last time[/b]

Published: Friday, [b]September 7, 2007[/b]
By Matt Sutkoski
Free Press Staff Writer

COLCHESTER -- Brigante's Snack Bar, a reliable fixture of Colchester's summer life, closes for the season Sunday and nobody -- including owner Frank Brigante -- knows for sure if it's coming back next summer.

Like he has every spring for 17 years, Brigante set up his snack shack in April at a pulloff near Claussen's perennial farm on Severance Road. Like he has every September, he'll shut down after a day of business Sunday, pack everything away for the winter, then relax mostly indoors, away from the cold for a few months.

The cycle might not repeat itself on those thawing spring days in 2008. There's major development planned for the property where Brigante's snack bar usually sits. If the lot on Severance Road becomes unavailable because of new construction, Brigante said he won't relocate elsewhere in town.

The landowner is gradually collecting permits to start construction, Brigante said. "They've got a lot of permits in place now. We don't know ourselves what's going to happen. We'll just have to wait to see what winter brings," he said. "Winter time is a good time to sit and think."

Brigante, 63, was going to retire after the 2005 season, but the pull of running the snack bar and visiting with customers and friends was too much. He ended up scaling back instead. He bought a smaller snack bar trailer. He stopped making fries -- too labor intensive. Brigante and his wife, Dottie, ran the snack bar from Thursday to Sunday only instead of six days a week. The scaled-back business worked.

"We did enjoy some days off. Three days a week is good," Brigante said.

The days working the snack bar are pleasant, too. "We see a lot of our friends and customers," Brigante said. Many of the customers are regulars, stopping by the snack bar many times during the course of a summer.

This summer, business was pretty typical at Brigante's. It has its ups and downs, he said. Business booms during days of nice weather and withers during rainy spells. It all evens out in the end, he said.

Brigante doesn't know if he'll see his regulars at the snack bar next year because he doesn't know if he'll have a little eatery. He says he does know that he appreciates all the people who have stopped at the snack bar over the years.

13 years, 10 months ago Edited