Upper Nyack, N.Y. -- Some called it "the little store." Others, "the deli." Their bacon cheeseburgers were legend. Its stoop, a Nyack High School hangout.
Now, it is gone.
On the last day of 2015, Hartell's, the deli/grocery that has sat at the corner of North Broadway and Castle Heights, closed its doors after 41 years. The attached liquor store is still open.
Hartell's owner Louis "Bubby" Hartell, who is 88 years old, was born in Nyack Hospital. After serving in the marines, he worked in the diaper business. He said "abortions and the pill" put him out of business. He opened the deli that has become a landmark. The store was filled with pictures of World War II Marine Corps.
For personal reasons, Hartell has closed it. His son Glenn worked aside him for many years.
When a reporter mentioned Hartell's has been a Nyack institution, he quipped "that's where I'm going."
In fact, Hartell will continue to work in the liquor store. He's fielding queries from interested buyers for the grocery, but is not sure if the 1,000-square-foot location will continue as a food retailer. Hartell owns the building and the three apartments above it.
"It's been hard to say good-bye," Hartell said. "I've been blessed with great customers." On New Year's Eve, members of the community came by the shop to sing carols and to wish Hartell well.
"It's been a good, long run."
The news of Hartell's closing follows the recent loss of two other Nyack institutions: O'Donoghues Tavern and The River Club.
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