Mariano Rea in Rea’s Store, a bar he owned and operated for many years, 1985.
“We called it The Bar,” says Levin. “Mariano sold soft drinks, chips, ice cream, beer. I don’t recall getting a full lunch there, but I would get snacks. In the ’80s, it was the major hangout. People would come, play music, talk story. It was a real focus of the community. It’s still there, run by Gloria Marks, Richard’s wife. It’s kind of been handed down from one person to another.”
It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.