"No, this can't be happening!" My heart sank into my stomach when my husband called to inform me that the Boston Hotel was on fire. He had heard it on the radio. I immediately went and turned on the scanner and called my son, Christopher, who is a volunteer fireman for North Boston.
Chris was on his way to the fire amid a snowstorm that was pounding our area. He promised to call me when it was over and to be careful. My anxiety set in and I said a prayer that the firemen would be safe and that they would save this landmark restaurant.
My family moved to the Boston Hills 15 years ago to enjoy the beauty of the hills and valley. As a result, we also got the advantage of being near the Boston Hotel.
This establishment attracted people from all around Western New York. Whenever I told people that I lived in Boston, everyone knew of this favorite spot.
I felt at home there with the laid-back country atmosphere prevalent throughout the bar and dining room. The building was 90 years old and at one time was a hotel and tavern. The original woodwork and creaky stairs leading upstairs added to its charm.
The three-story brick building sat on the corner facing Boston State Road and had a majestic feel to it as you approached it. In days past, the hotel was a favorite place to stop for a bite to eat when traveling out in the country. I could picture the horses parked outside and the farmers gathering for a drink and a meal.
The restrooms in the place made me laugh because they were wallpapered in the tackiest of fashion. Magazine covers of body builders and actors covered the walls of the ladies room. My husband said the mens room was also decorated likewise, with photos of models and gorgeous women. I had to believe him since I have never been in that room.
We'd go to the Boston Hotel many Fridays for the delicious lobster dainties followed by a fish fry to die for. We usually had to wait for a table because Fridays were busy. But it was worth the wait for the excellent food and cheap prices.
When my friends from the northern suburbs came to visit, we'd take them to the hotel to enjoy its country charm. Almost every time we went there, we would run into someone we knew. Many of the faces were familiar. I'm sure we had met at church, school or the supermarket in town.
When my son called and told me that my favorite restaurant was destroyed, I knew that I had lost a constant in my life. The firemen were disappointed that they couldn't save our town's beloved landmark. Surely, anyone who frequented the hotel feels the same sentiments. Reality set in and I decided to write about it to relieve the sense of loss.
Where will we go for our Friday fish fry? I'm not sure how long it will take us to find another favorite place. Maybe I'll resort to cooking fish at home because I live in the hills and don't want to go far in the winter.
I certainly will miss eating in a restaurant that is part of our town's history.