A family-owned business that’s been around for five decades could be closing up shop because of several months-worth of road construction.
Aresco’s Superette in Meriden has been struggling to survive while the city reconstructs Gravel Street.
“My dad started in August of 1965,” said Larry Aresco, the owner.
On the inside, the store looks like it did 50 years ago.
“[At] a large grocery store, you pull the number and you're number 15 or whatever,” said Harold Kirchstein, a longtime customer. “Here, when I come, I'm Harold.”
However, this longstanding piece of yesterday, which many consider a Meriden institution, is in danger of closing because of the massive changes happening outside.
A state project to widen Gravel Street and give it new sidewalks is crippling the business, according to the store owner.
“We're down about 50 or 60 percent a day,” Aresco said.
“You don't know where you'll be able to find a flat spot to drive to begin with and what might happen to your vehicle in the process,” said Gary DePaola, a customer.
Aresco said the construction began in May and affected business right off the bat. Even with professional signs touting that superette is open for business, the road condition isn’t doing anyone any favors.
“People don't want to come down the street because the road is so bad,” Aresco said. “Even the fire department. They used to come down for lunch every day, but because the road is so bad, they stopped coming.”
It’s lead to a cutback in employee hours and the family shouldering the burden, spending more time at the store.
Now, they said they’re worrying how long they can stay afloat.
“If it keeps up, we're going to have to close,” Aresco said.
The old time market has been forced utilize some new technology. A post on its Facebook page generated some business.
However, family members hope the momentum can last through the summer and fall.
Construction is set to end in November.
Eyewitness News reached out to the city, but officials said there is not much else they can do.
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