Summer is finding its way here in fits and starts.
When it arrives, the crew at Elvira’s will be ready.
The small store on Hillspoint Road, opposite Old Mill Beach, is open year round.
Fall, spring — and, of course, winter — are quiet times. Contractors, lawn guys and deliverymen stop by; so does everyone in the neighborhood, from commuters grabbing coffee and parents picking up pizza, to area kids who pop in and out several times a day.
A school bus stopped there one recent morning. A couple of children ran out, grabbed energy drinks and cookies a very healthy breakfast, then hopped back on the bus. There was not enough time to pay; they must have put in on their tab, as so many area families do.
For most of the year, Elvira’s serves the neighborhood. Parents leave messages behind the counter for their kids; the owners and other help — most of them family members — look out for those same youngsters as if they were their own.
The bonds were solidified in 2003, when neighbors rallied to save the grocery store/deli/pizzeria from possible doom.
Elvira’s is headed into its busy season. For the next few months, from opening to closing, the place will be packed. New faces will appear — folks who don’t know the menu by heart, who ask for the one thing the store doesn’t carry, who don’t clean up after themselves outside.
Elvira’s will treat them with the same warm smiles, open hearts and overstuffed wraps they provide their most loyal customers, the ones who are there in the dead of winter. They’ll be swamped this summer, but they’ll still have time for everyone.
Elvira’s is that kind of place. It’s the Westport of our dreams.