BEACON FALLS — After decades of serving the community, the Beacon Falls Market now sits dark with a note taped to the front door demanding the back rent.
The market at 81 South Main St. closed its doors to the public in February, much to everyone’s surprise.
Economic Development Commission Chairman Jeremy Rodorigo said he received some phone calls about the market not being open. When he went down to check, he said, the doors were locked and the lights were off.
“The best we can tell is they just up and left. I certainly hope they are OK,” said Rodorigo of the former owners of the market.
According to an EDC newsletter, Sarah Kim of New York took the business over at the end of 2012 from longtime owners Charlie and Jeane Lee. Attempts to locate Kim for comment were unsuccessful.
An eviction notice taped to the door of the market from attorney Robert Fashjian, on behalf of the Lees, states Kim owed back rent and lawyer’s fees.
Although it has been closed, the shelves in the store were stocked.
The Lees took over the business from the Chicoski family in 1989 and still own the building. Attempts to reach the Lees for comment were unsuccessful.
The closing of the store has left a hole in town, according to officials.
“It was great to have a small local grocery store you could stop in and pick stuff up,” said Robert Bradley, who owns Beacon Falls Pharmacy and founded the Beacon Falls Merchant Association. “This is where I got all of my lunch meat, steaks and chicken.”
Rodorigo said the closing of the market has left residents without a convenient way to shop for groceries.
“One thing Beacon Falls really needs is a grocery store. We don’t have one. It’s inconvenient to travel out of town to pick up a pound of ground beef,” Rodorigo said.
First Selectman Christopher Bielik echoed Rodorigo’s comments saying the closing of the market has been a loss for the town.
“It certainly creates a hole where people had something local that they had been able to rely on for a long time. It takes us back to the old days of the neighborhood market and being able to walk down to the corner and get your gallon of milk,” Bielik said. “Not having that available is not only an economic loss to town, it’s a loss of a piece of town’s character.”
Rodorigo said the EDC is working with the Lees to find someone to reopen the market.
“It’s always been a nice little market,” Rodorigo said. “It always had what you need when you needed it.”