Longtime Canton bar, restaurant demolished; 80 years of history recalled, including visit from Budweiser Clydesdales
CANTON – The building where a longtime downtown eatery was housed was knocked down this week to make room for a new convenience store.
A Nice & Easy store is going up on Miner Street where Barr’s Restaurant – better known as Connie Barr’s – had sat for decades.According to the Barr family, Azel Perry built 6 Miner Street one homemade cement brick at a time, and it stood for close to 80 years, first as a garage, but for 50 of those years as Barr's Restaurant, a family business run by Connie and Mary Barr along with Mary’s parents, Azel and Lula Perry.
Over the years it was a hangout for townspeople and college kids alike. serving great burgers, homemade chili and basic, stick-to-your-ribs food.
But circumstances change with the times: as the decades rolled on, the legal drinking age was raised to 21; college students started eating more and more on campus; fast-food chains came to town and people began buying their burgers and beer other places. The restaurant closed.
Mary Barr continued to rent the space, but like other Canton Main Street properties, the downstairs remained vacant following the demise of On Pace, a woman's exercise studio.
“Still, the demolition of the old building, a witness to so much living, is not without nostalgia and sadness even as there is new hope for the future,” the Barr family said as the old building came down.