The Red Lion Inn will serve up its last bar pie and pour its last drink this week.
The historic tavern, restaurant and liquor store on Drum Point Road, which dates back to the 1920s, will literally have its last call Wednesday night, as the establishment will shut down in preparation for a CVS Pharmacy to take its place at the corner of Drum Point and Hooper.
For locals who haven't driven down Drum Point in the past few days, we'll break the news to you: Snoopy has already been taken down from the roof.
Historical records show the tavern was built in 1926. According to the book "Images of America - Brick Township," the restaurant was founded by Joseph and Phyllis McClorry, who ran it until 1957, when it became Citta’s Red Lion Tavern. The Bottazzi family has owned it since 1977.
Patrick Bottazzi, Sr. was not available to speak with a reporter this week, but patrons of the Red Lion shared story after story on Brick Patch's Facebook page about a local meeting place that has been a Brick staple for generations.
"I'm heartbroken that its going," wrote Lee Ann Hurley Ray. "I remember going [there] with my grandmother as a kid. My grandmother was my world and I could never wait until she would pick us up and take us out to dinner there."
"When my fellow graduate school classmates found out that I had never skipped a class in my entire college career, they kidnapped me from class and took me to the Red Lion for drinks and dinner," recalled Dorothy Rohland.
Dave Clark said his bands – No Left Turn and Stir Crazy – packed the house when they played there. Terry DeGano remembers her wedding reception there 23 years ago; Laraine Sgroi said she had her son's christening there 24 years ago; and JoAnna Fabiano recalled a waitress who always brought a smile to her late father's face.
In November, the township planning board approved an application by CVS Pharmacy to build a retail store at the site. The CVS store will compete with a Walgreens store that is located across the street. The anecdotal consensus from Brick Patch readers on the change: the corner of Drum Point and Hooper will never be the same.
Christine Wells Wyskowski summed up the popular line of thinking on the subject.
"A pharmacy across from a pharmacy. Brilliant idea!"