April 16, 2014LITTLETON— Bailiwicks, closed since the Thayers Inn water damage in January, will be moving to Parker's Marketplace in the spot being vacated by Italian Oasis. Wayne and Lisa Morello, who operated the Oasis since 1992, have decided to move on.
Change has become common along Littleton's award winning Main Street. Duck Soup closed in Parker's Marketplace earlier this year, and the Village Book Store ended its run on April 2.
On the Oasis Facebook page, the Morellos posted an announcement on Thursday morning "to our loyal customers."
The Morellos wrote, "We've built a family here at the 'O' for the past twenty plus years and it is with heavy hearts that we are moving on. We've done our best throughout the years to build a family-friendly restaurant where people could bring their families, and enjoy a night out on the town. It has been a model that has served us well over two decades."
Oasis praised Steve and Stacey Northrop, the owners of Bailiwicks, as creators of "a local fixture in its own right." With an agreement for Bailiwicks to move in after Oasis closes, the Morellos considered the circumstances "a golden opportunity that we couldn't let pass us by."
The Morellos concluded on a very thankful tone. "There are no words to express what our customers, friends, and family have meant to us over the years. We will remain active in the community and look forward to seeing Bailiwicks take over our legacy." The posting's closing line was, "We sincerely thank you for all your support throughout the years."
On Thursday, Wayne Morello expanded on the online comments. He said Oasis employees, some at the restaurant for more than 20 years, are a special bunch who made the restaurant tick. Regarding the future of Bailiwicks at the location, Morello said the Northrops "are going to do a great job" because of the team the restaurant had assembled.
In conclusion, Morello said, "Thanks to the community for supporting us for all these years."
One Facebook commenter noted the Morellos location will remain great. "Best of luck! Your legacy is in very good hands," thanks to Bailwicks, the person wrote. Another said the Morellos offered a memorable environment. The commenter said she "made life long friends there," and enjoyed "some of the best memories" at the Oasis as both an employee and customer.
Bailiwick's manager Jocelyn Wright expressed happiness about the restaurant's upcoming rebirth in Littleton. Via phone on Friday, she said renovations will take place in May to ensure "the Bailiwick's climate and atmosphere" continues at the new location. "We're shooting for Memorial Day weekend" for the return of Bailiwicks to Littleton, Wright said.
Wright added that Bailiwicks is eagerly planning on "having our customers come back to us" on Main Street. "Bailiwick's has always played a good part in the community," she said, and the restaurant sees the Parker's Marketplace site as a way for Bailiwicks to help build "a stronger town moving forward."
The Morellos will continue to own the Parker's Marketplace building.
Across the street, roofing work continued at Thayers Inn last week, but the sign on the front door still notes the inn's indefinite closure. Located in the Thayers Inn basement, Bailiwicks was inundated during the flood event, caused by sprinkler line problems on January 10. The Northrops continued to operate their St. Johnsbury Bailiwicks location after the flooding forced the Littleton site to close.