Take pictures now to remember the way it is
The Lakeville Journal Editorial
We all like to reminisce about the way things used to be, whether it’s in our families, our homes, the country, the world or our towns. Decades ago, Lakeville was a bustling part of Salisbury, with a food store where The Boathouse is now, an active apartment building where there is open space on Main Street slated for affordable housing, a women’s clothing store and a jewelry store on the corner. Then for a while it seemed there were coffee shops on every corner (but none of them were Starbucks — all were independent, local and lively).
The businesses changed over the years, with the late Dr. Steve Owens and his wife, Ellie (an owner at The Lakeville Journal) building the white buildings at Cobblers Corner more than 20 years ago where the jewelry story used to be. Owens had his practice in the buildings, and kept that corner active. Art galleries moved in, then, one by one, closed, except for Argazzi Art, which is still here thanks to owner Judith Singelis keeping it vibrant through some tough COVID times.
There are now, of course, key businesses in downtown Lakeville that serve the regional community. It’s a bustling downtown already, between Lakeville Wine, Petpourri, Northwest Cleaners, Roaring Oaks Florist, Seth Churchill’s building company, Studio Lakeville, design and real estate businesses, The Boathouse and yes, the post office, the banks and Patco. And, at Cobblers Corner, there are now two medical arts businesses, a chiropractor and a physical therapist. There is plenty to find to do in Lakeville on any given day.
But the missing link has been, as everyone knows, the former Chinese restaurant in the middle of town, owned by Amy Yang and vacant for almost 10 years, as described by Executive Editor Cynthia Hochswender in last week’s Lakeville Journal. All the businesses and residents in Lakeville have felt the effects of that building, which is shrouded outside by shrubs and overgrowth, taking up a prime spot in the middle of town.
Now, with hope that Realtor Jusztina Paksai of Elyse Harney Real Estate may be able to find a buyer for that property, as noted in Hochswender’s article, this could well mean a more complete renaissance for the town. It’s the kind of change that can greatly benefit all those who have businesses adjacent to the former restaurant.
Lakeville has a lot more going for it as well. The multiple neighborhoods just off Main Street are active, relatively affordable for families and offer residents easy access to downtown Lakeville. They are within walking distance of all the aforementioned businesses and the town Grove and Salisbury Central School, and also offer the perfect place to take casual walks for exercise and fun.
Here’s hoping the restaurant property sells quickly, and that the new owners have a vision for the building and site that will create renewed life in Lakeville. It won’t be an easy transition no matter the future use of the former restaurant. But it could be the start of another extended golden era for Lakeville, that will cause town residents to revisit this moment as a time to remember and reminisce about in the future.