A landmark in Windsor Locks for more than 70 years closed on Thursday.
Stella's Charles-Ten was the oldest restaurant in Windsor Locks, but the owner said it is time to say goodbye.
"I work 85 hours a week for 30 years and I'm tired," Stella's Charles-Ten owner Ann Tenerowicz said.
Her parents started the restaurant in 1942 and they built the establishment on South Main Street with their bare hands. Their pictures still adorn the walls at the restaurant, walls that have seen thousands of loyal customers.
Michele Taylor came to Stella's Charles-Ten for 27 years.
"Ann is a wonderful, wonderful person," Taylor said. "She is like our family and she is a wonderful cook."
It's not just the customers, who are loyal. Bartender Brian Rocheleau served up Polish and American drinks and food for nearly 37 years.
"It's been a great job to come to every day," Rocheleau said. "A lot of dedicated and awesome customers we've had over the years...probably the best in town."
It's an institution in Windsor Locks. An institution that will likely be replaced by a sports bar, much to the chagrin of people in the area.
"They want to do something different," Tenerowicz said. "Everyone wants to do their own thing. The uniqueness is gone, which is the sad part."
But, even as a new chapter begins, more than 70 years of memories will never be erased.
"This town is going to miss this place tremendously," Taylor said.
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