The building that once held an iconic malt shop at 57 Depot Street in downtown Stowe was demolished on Monday.
An excavator’s bucket arm meticulously chiseled away at the building, layer by layer, until only rubble and the concrete stubble of the foundation was left. The new owner of the property, John Steel, plans to replace it with a three-story building with a store front on the first floor and apartments on the others two.
Opened in 1992 by Kathy Kneale, owner of Harrison’s Restaurant on Main Street, the Depot Street Malt Shop was sold in 2001 to Marc and Rachel Chevalier.
After almost thirty years of fries and shakes, the shop closed its doors in 2019 after a pile of problems made business reopening costs prohibitive. A pipe froze in January of that year, and water caused damage to the floors and structure. The Chevaliers called it quits, selling the property in April of 2019.
“So many young people have grown up here, spent their entire childhoods here, and when they come back … first thing they do is they all congregate at the Malt Shop,” Chevalier said after deciding to close the shop. “There’s many, many happy memories in those walls.”
Now those memories rest in the hearts and minds of Stowe.
When pictures of the demolition were posted to social media, dozens of mourning locals shared their thoughts, feelings and memories.
“This was a staple in any ‘90s Stowe kids’ childhood,” Tyler Sutton said, “the bus would drop you off right in front after every away game ... I can still picture David behind the little window to the kitchen & Kathy’s welcoming face behind the counter.”
“I know it was necessary, but this is so sad. So many memories in that place from when I was a teen all the way to when I brought my kids in,” Carole Jeanne said.
“So sad! We spent so much time there together,” said Amber Couto to Casey Sherwin.
“I also spent the ‘90s at this shop and miss it so much,” Rose Barbour said. “Sad to see the building go.”