Back then the Pike hadn’t begun its metamorphoses and was still pretty much of a dive. It was definitely not a place where I could go alone. So I roamed my new neighborhood and stumbled on Ronies. A few blocks from home. Back then it was safe to walk at all hours so it was perfect.
Ronie was a character. If he liked you, he delayed taking your money so you were unable to leave. If he didn’t, you never got served. I was fortunate. Ronie and his wife, Donna liked me. One of the early years I ended up with way too much vacation. I used it up one Friday afternoon at a time, at Ronies, eating fresh sliced Delmonico cheese steaks with spicy fries. By the time the summer was over I was family. Over the years, I stored up a lot of memories from there. Mostly good, a few not so much.
A month ago a for sale sign appeared on the railing. I hadn’t been there in quite some time but that didn’t stop me from feeling a little sad. After forty-eight years in business Ronies was closing. The end of an era. One less place for me to feel at home.
Today some friends and I went for what will be the last time. There is a deal pending. Someone else will step in and change things. No, there is nothing wrong with change. But in this case even if the new place is fantastic it still won’t be good. Ronies was an old fashioned corner bar that I’m sure is very similar to how it looked the day it opened, only not as shiny. Ronie and Donna are much the same as the first time I walked in. They’re not as shiny either but then neither am I.
I’d like to say thank you for all the time I spent there. And wish them both all the best in the world. Cheers!