Best Store In Willi

Posted By: rd <>
Date: Tuesday, 3 April 2001, at 9:29 p.m.

The best store in Willi was and is Hurley's! They are an Icon and represent what was and is everything good about Willimantic. Hurley's boys store gave me my annual corduroy's each fall--and the first suit I bought when I got out of the Army in Feburary 1961. I will never forget it--it was a gray glenplaid and cost about $60! Hurley's always gave you a new tie no charge! This was the days before credit cards--they just wrote your name on piece of paper and you could take the suit home to look at it before you finally decided to buy it. That was when there was people like Arthur Lozelle, George Frazier and finally Dick Anthony who carried on the great tradition of Hurley's! Hurley's represented a time in Willimantic when business and community were in sync. There was a community spirit and support for main street that somehow has eroded and businesses allowed themselves to be moved to malls. Just about every small town in New England and elsewhere has been dealt the fate of the mall. It has been the ruination of main street as we use to know it! Look at what has happended in eastern CT and other communities to realize the impact of malls and Wal-Mart types of businesses. I believe Willi is trying to revitalize the main street area with the old thread mill renovations and other initiatives. I really enjoy reading what is happening in Willi and wish it great and continued success!! 

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Posted By: Ada Kerachsky Albright <>
Date: Monday, 9 April 2001, at 12:18 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (William Brainard)

The A&P on Valley Street was a nice store. I too loved the smell of coffee--back then practically no one ground their own coffee, but you could grind it fresh there (why does it never taste as good as it smells?). It was only a block or so from my parents' store and sometimes my Mom would have me walk over on a Thursday when the fresh fish would be in for Friday to buy some butterfish to fry. Now, being a bit further inland, I never see butterfish any more, and I guess not as many people eat fish on Friday. Are those nice butterfish still available in Willimantic? 


Posted By: rd <>
Date: Monday, 9 April 2001, at 6:14 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (Ada Kerachsky Albright)

When I turned 16 I started working at the First National store on the corner of Main and Walnut St across from the Capital theater. Moved out of the Willi area in 1966 and lived in Northern Va for nearly 30 yrs and now live down on the Chesapeake Bay. BUT, every time we visit Willi, which is getting fewer, we really like the Stop & Shop--even No. VA. supermarkets couldn't compare. We also would always get grinders and even tried to bring some back in a cooler. The Stop & Shop has a great fresh vegetable/fruits; deli counter; and fresh seafood. We miss the little neck clams and cherry stones. Don't miss the weather in the winter. Today it was 85 here--and its only April! 


Posted By: ws <>
Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2001, at 11:05 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (rd)

We also moved to NoVa, still here, but have learned to enjoy crabs as a fair substitute for steamers (nothing can substitute for live/no tank lobsters), get them by the bushel at Pruitts on Maine Ave.(DC) and steam them in the back yard many times a year starting on Mothers Day. However as you mentioned whenever we go back to Willi my second stop is either Stop n Shop or the Big Y for kielbasa and steamers, two places that didn't exist when we left in "60". To bad there are no grinder places left. The're all subs to me because they've substituted one of the major ingredients. Only the afficianado's know. 


Posted By: RD <>
Date: Wednesday, 11 April 2001, at 4:34 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (ws)

We use to go to Abbott's in Noank for fresh lobster--they would steam them there and then you could sit at one of the tables and watch the boats going into Mystic. Now we dine on crabs (about $65/bush. here) and rockfish (strippers in the NE). I remember one time in Bethesda, Md a local restaurant advertised "authentic New England grinder" When I order it the waitress asked if I wanted mustard, mayonaise, or salad dressing on it??? I responded, "thats a not a grinder!"

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Posted By: al
Date: Saturday, 14 April 2001, at 7:56 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (William Brainard)

well you folks i have got to tell you about a place down near the shore in westbrook on rte 1 for fish -- called THE FISH TALE. gots best scallops, clams, ala 'new england shore dinner' around and mostly priced in $10-$15 tops range. got a little bar too that's cozy and best bloody mary's around. it's about a hour or less drive from willi via colchester ( don't forget to stop in the colchester bakery for them donuts--the best!) and over saybrook bridge.

a great place to unwind....on a spring or summer eve. very casual frills and nice service and people. NO GRINDERS THOUGH!!!!



Posted By: amccarthy
Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2001, at 2:31 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (al)



Posted By: Ted
Date: Friday, 25 May 2001, at 10:36 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (amccarthy)

yeah we used to shop at the carter williams store back in late 40s when we lived nearby. then you could buy a loaf of wonder bread ( w/o preservatives like today) and a qt of milk for about a total of 50 cents or less. during the 1955 flood and hurricane DIANE carter williams store was all lit up with candles...cuz he had no power.

we liked the devil dogs for a nickel too. do not recall the traveling green truck ...must have missed it. but i do recall a veggie truck that traveled around willi...maybe same one. ted 


Posted By: rd <>
Date: Friday, 15 June 2001, at 12:11 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Best Store In Willi (Ted)

Don't know if it was the best store but it sure had some good bargains: Ad in Chronicle July 7, 1913: Summer Underwear- In all cool goods such as B.V.D. - Porosknit-Balbriggan, both in Union and Two Piece Suits at 50 cents, $1.00 and $1.50. THE H. L. HUNT CO. Outfitters to Pa and the Boys