Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Friday, January 23, 2009

Welcome Romaldo's

Last night we went out to eat at a new restaurant in town. Romaldo's Restaurant in the Hearthstone Inn opened last night after readying the long empty building since the fall. In a few weeks the 12 guest rooms in the inn will be ready to accept guests.

I had never been inside the building, but was surprised once inside. The restaurant seats 99 patrons in the dining room, balcony, and heated porch on the second level. There is a bar in the corner of the dining room. Complimentary valet parking was offered at the door last night. I chose to park my own vehicle since there was a space a short distance from the door.

The menu was reminiscent of the now closed Rom's restaurant offering mostly Italian American food, some seafood, and steaks. There is no beer on tap, only in bottles, and the wine list is limited.

We sat in the main dining room not far from the fireplace. A young lady tended the fire, and we enjoyed it during our meal. The lighting is bright, not what one would expect to find for an evening meal.

I applaud the new proprietors of the Inn for taking on this new venture during these cloudy economic times. It is a wonderful thing to see that handsome building being used again as it was designed. It sat abandoned for way too long. It shows that entrepreneurship is still alive, and that there are those willing to take risks despite what is happening around them. These are traits that built this country, and I am sure they will succeed. They will work out any kinks, tweak the menu, and offer things to their patrons they had not considered as time goes on. They have a lot of family experience to draw from.

As we walked from the building after our meal, we looked across the parking lot to the other building on the property, the proprietors and their family are living in the second and third floor space, and there in the uppermost window, a large circular window, was a small boy. He waved to us as we walked to the car, and we waved back. He has an excellent view of his families future from his perch.

I wish Nicole and Andre the very best success in their new adventure. It is great to see that there are still those that are willing to work hard to succeed, no matter how difficult it may be. They are an example to watch, and to follow.


  1. Nicole,

    Mary, Jen and I enjoyed ourselves last evening, and our short talk with you, and I as I said in the posting this morning, we wish you the very best. Being a proprietor of an establishment comes with many responsibilities, one of which is your responsiveness to your clientele. If you can master that, all the rest will fall into place. Judging from your last comment, it seems you already have this part under control!

    See you again soon!

  2. My family and I had the pleasure of celebrating the life of a recently passed family member at Romaldos yesterday. This has special meaning to us, as our Nona worked at Rom's many years ago and was fond of her time there and her lasting friendship with the Roscioli family. The food was delicious, the atmosphere warm and cozy and the service perfect. Also our small boys were given a fun toy that occupied them for most of our visit, which is remarkable. Romaldos has it all, great food, cozy atmosphere, family friendly and outstanding service! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and continuing to provide your community with a wonderful place to visit.

    Laura Perry.


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