Rye’s Longtime Merchants (A Sequel)
By Paul Hicks
In 2012, The Rye Record ran a series of articles entitled “As Time Goes by for Rye’s Longtime Merchants”, which included thumbnail sketches of family-owned retailers that had operated businesses in Rye for more than a decade. With the newspaper’s readers supplying some names that had been overlooked, the total number grew to 47.
Setting out to update those fascinating glimpses of Rye’s commercial history, I discovered that only seven of the 47 businesses had closed, and that another, Crisfield’s Market, is under new ownership. The others — gone but not forgotten — are Dock Deli, La Panetière, Milano’s, T.D.’s Rye Smoke Shop, Rye Stationers, Stanley’s Custom Tailoring, and Twig Antiques.
To make the 2022 update more manageable, it will include those family-owned businesses that have been going for 60 or more years in the first part, 50-60 years in the second, and 30-50 years in the third.
All these longtime businesses are to be saluted for their valued service to their customers and contributions to the community.
Belluscio’s Restaurant (80)
Located on Midland Avenue, Belluscio’s has been satisfying diners since 1933. After Prohibition, Frank’s Belluscio’s great-grandparents opened an eatery called Midland Tavern. Upon becoming the sole owner in 1986, Frank changed the name to Belluscio’s Restaurant, and it has been a Rye favorite ever since.
Jerry’s Post Road Market (80)
Founded by Jerry and Marie McGuire in 1937, the family business is still run by a third generation of McGuires. In 1974, the McGuire’s son Jerry and his wife Martha took over operation of the market, expanding its grocery and deli offerings. Jerry’s Market has operated out of a larger, newer building that replaced the founders’ home and original store in 2005 and boast generations of loyal customers.
Fong’s Laundry (70)
Sam Moy is the current owner of Fong’s Laundry, a third-generation family business at the corner of Elm Place and Theodore Fremd Avenue. Fong’s is named after his late brother-in-law, who started the business in 1956 in space now occupied by Sunrise Pizza. A year later, it was sold to Sam’s father, who was succeeded by Sam in 1969. Sam and his wife Lili, along with their son, Eric, still serve their customers six days a week and pride themselves on having survived numerous downtown floods, including, most recently, Ida.
Rye Beach Pharmacy (70)
Dan and Maria GiaQuinto bought the pharmacy in 1946, and their son Bob joined them in 1963. Bob’s sons, Donald and Ken, now run the business. In 1974, Bob tore down the old pharmacy and built the one that stands today. The family is proud to have grown the business to include a compounding lab where they can customize prescriptions, while remaining Rye’s only independent pharmacy.
Rye Brook Service Center (70)
The Lamberti family’s service stations have called Rye home since 1952. Joseph Lamberti opened the business 70 years ago, and his son, Joseph Jr., took it over in 1983. He notes that the name was chosen because the stations are in the City of Rye and the brook flows behind them.
Rye Camera (70)
Rob Porto’s uncle and father started the business in 1947. Rob says it is a totally different business today, but they are still a resource for the community and feel a commitment to Rye. His wife Anja helps people with custom printing and gives them advice on digital. Although they don’t sell a lot of film these days, they still sell a lot of cameras, lenses, and other equipment, as well as frames and photo albums.
Carpet Trends (60)
Carpet Trends is a family-owned business in the heart of Rye owned by Rob Rogers. His grandparents, Ralph and Augusta, along with his father Ted, started it in 1956. In 1985, Rob joined the firm, and in 1995, he bought the business from his parents. He’s happy that his son Tyler, as well as Margaret Ricketts and a steadfast crew, work alongside him.
Banahan Brothers (60)
In the early 1960s, John Banahan and his two brothers bought the Texaco service station at the corner of Theodore Fremd and North Street. It was originally owned by The Osborn home as a source of revenue. For generations, John has served loyal customers with his signature wit and warmth.
<Part 2 will include Rye merchants in business 40 to 50 years. Readers are encouraged to let me (pdefhicks@), or the staff of the newspaper know, of any business that has been overlooked.>