By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Forestville resident and business owner, Gary Santorso, has dedicated the walls of his restaurant – 150 Central – to remembering the history of “The Village.”
Santorso took over the 150 Central Street location in January 2013 and while that location wasn’t historically successful as restaurant space, 150 Central has been in business for the past six years.
Santorso’s parents were also well known in the area. From 1951 to 1961, his father owned and operated Tart’s Tydol gas station, formerly located at 34 East Main Street. In 1961, Santorso’s parents opened the Silo, a Farmington-based restaurant. When Santorso’s father passed away in 1973, he stepped up to help his mother, and together they kept the Silo open for 38 years.
Local historian, Tom Dickau, helped Santorso select the photographs that are hung throughout the space. Both Dickau and Santorso said the images add to the ambiance of the restaurant, while also acting as a conversation-starter for intrigued customers.
“What Gary did here with the pictures, yes, it’s a business venture to class-up his restaurant, but I consider it more than that – it’s a spirit of volunteerism which our community works on,” said Dickau. “People are coming in here and they’ll reminisce about what they remembered, they’ll look at the pictures, they’ll discuss them. They’ll remember Forestville.”
Dickau described Forestville, affectionately known as The Village, as a special place, with its own “very special spirit.” This photo display, according to Dickau, is “something that will keep the history of Forestville alive.”
Santorso encourages patrons to explore the space and to look at the photographs, and Dickau said that he has seen people start up conversations regarding where they think a specific photograph was taken.
Hanging prominently in the main dining room is Santorso’s favorite photograph – Tart’s Tydol station during the Flood of 1955.
Other images include photographs of Thomas W. Quinlan, an honorary mayor of Forestville; the Forestville Eagles baseball team; Munn’s Blacksmith Shop; Deming Store, which was the oldest building in town; Dom’s Luncheonette; the Forestville Jail; and many more.
150 Central, 150 Central Street, is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m., to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. The restaurant can be contacted by calling, (860) 261-7009, or by visiting, www.onefiftycentral.com.