Recently one evening while trying to decide where to go for dinner with my soulmate Tonya and our granddaughter Isabelle, my mind wandered to where it usually goes when I'm thinking about restaurants that are no longer in Pittsfield. And I thought of a restaurant that I still miss to this day. Bonanza Steakhouse.

Remember Bonanza? It was located over on Crane Avenue right across from the Allendale Shopping Center. It had excellent food, an awesome salad bar, and good prices.

It was just a good family restaurant. Anyway, that made me feel quite nostalgic and I started thinking about other businesses that were around Pittsfield when I was growing up. Places that I had fond memories of.

For instance, Imagine That on Dalton Avenue. Man, if you were a lover of books, especially paperbacks, or old magazines, you could spend hours in that bookstore. It was pretty small, but they managed to cram a lot of reading material in there.

I still have one of the first books I ever bought from Imagine That, a slightly tattered(but still perfectly bound) paperback of Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice. Which featured, of course, Bond. James Bond.

My memory isn't as sharp as it used to be, so I could be off with the name(especially the spelling), but do any of you remember a place on Elm Street called Jules' Variety(I'm pretty sure that's the name)? Again, not a very big establishment but they had a lot in there.

I remember many times(during the summer) my friend Eric and I(yes, I had a friend who shared my name) would walk there from his house to get some Italian Ices. I even remember once we had nothing to eat for breakfast, so we walked there to get a box of Honey Nut Cheerios cereal which was still fairly brand-new. Loved it then, and love it now.

Only adults of a certain age will probably remember this one. Thee Arcade. On East Street. Right next to Hardee's (and before Hardee's it was Burger Chef!!!). Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Pittsfield High School.

If you timed it just right and you were already in motion when the lunch bell rang, you could make it to Hardee's or Teddy's(which is still around--thank goodness!), scarf down some food, play a couple of arcade games(Double Dragon!!!!), and make it back to school just in time.

Yeah, I know Hardee's is fast food, but to my teenage taste buds, it was delicious. And speaking of Teddy's, those gyros were quite delicious. And the pizza too! I've gotta stop reminiscing. It's making me hungry!

Here's one more before I wrap it up for today. Honestly, I'll have to do another 10 or more of these to salute long-gone but never-forgotten businesses. Every Tuesday night was movie night at our house(probably because the new video releases came out on Tuesdays).

And every Tuesday night we had a ritual. My older sister Paula would bring my friend Dave(I miss ya, Mano!) and me to Video Studio Twelve in the Elm Street Plaza. Remember that place? I loved it in there. The three of us would comb over the new releases and snag something we thought everyone would like.

And we would also grab another videotape(usually a horror flick) to watch after the newer movie. Then we would grab dinner from Teo's Hot Dogs(thankfully still around!) for the family. That was our ritual. And it went on for a while. Happy memories.

Boy, there are so many I remember. Bradlees. Giovanni's. Dakota. England Brothers(the display of lights around Christmas time). Strawberries Records and Tapes. Chi-Chi's...Oh well, for another day.


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