EASTON, Conn. -- When Geoff Moore, head chef at the Easton Village Store, sees a blue Dodge Durango pull into the parking lot, he knows it must be “Not So Wild Bill,” and he starts getting an everything bagel with butter ready for him, along with an orange juice.
”We used to call him Wild Bill, but he’s getting older now,” chuckled Moore, a Newtown resident.
Moore said that just like with Bill, he knows the name of all his regular customers.
“It’s just like the TV show 'Cheers' in here. Not only do we know you by name, but we know what you will order. We also know what’s going on in your life," he said. "We are your friends here.
“That’s what’s great about living in a small town. We are a hospitality industry.”
The Easton Village Store serves omelets, pancakes, and hot and cold sandwiches made on the premises, as well as burgers, fries and pizza.
Toward the back of the store, assorted household items are for sale, such as dish soap, garbage bags and cat food. The store also sells oil and gas.
Food delivery service is available, as well as catering in this small town. “We have delivered a single sandwich to our customers, and custom-make sandwiches that are not on the menu," he said.
He recalled one time when a customer came in, said his wife wasn't feeling well and asked for chicken soup.
"We don’t have chicken soup on the menu, but I told him to come back in an hour and when he did, it was waiting for him," Moore said.
According to Moore, the staff at Easton Village Store is grieving the recent death of one of their favorite customers, Tony Grasso, who was part of the Easton Volunteer Fire Department.
“Every Saturday morning at 6 a.m., he was always the first one in here. He ordered a coffee and danish, and he sat here until 7:30 a.m., talking with a group of his friends," Moore said.
“When he didn’t show up last Saturday, we grew concerned and asked around — and that’s when we heard that he passed away.”
Moore said he loves the small town feeling of Easton. "You can really take the time to get to know people," he said. "That’s what the hometown relationship is all about.”
Moore is working on a new menu. “We will offer more variety, and new flavors. We want to spice things up,” he said, adding that the menu will also contain more farm-fresh products grown right in town.
Moore, 42, said he started cooking when he was 14 when he took a job as a prep cook at a Taco Bell in Fairbanks, Alaska.
A graduate of the Arizona Culinary Institute, he worked for as a chef at the Mayflower Inn & Spa in nearby Washington, which has a five-star restaurant, he said.
The Easton Village store, which is owned by Easton resident Marsel Huribal, opened in the 1950s. Its former name was Halzacks. It underwent a major remodel eight years ago, doubling its size.
For the past two years, the store has held an October Fest outside on its patio. “It’s completely German-inspired, with German foods such as Wiener Schnitzel and Bratwurst, German beer and German music,” Moore said, adding that in the two-day event, 400 people showed up.
To contact the Easton Village Store, at 440 Sport Hill Road, call 203-268-5618 or click here .
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