Longtime Magoun Square business owner Jerry LaFee passed away on Friday, and the loss leads to an uncertain future for his sub shop Thurston Spa, the Somerville Journal reports.
The 60-year-old store is located at the corner of Medford and Thurston streets. LaFee purchased it from its original owner more than 25 years ago, and he was the shop's sole employee, the Journal notes. When the 63-year-old was hospitalized two months ago, longtime friends and customers John Ferreer, Carl Amici, and Eddie Lavelle stepped behind the counter to continue the business in LaFee's absence. The business owner was just about to begin rehabilitation when he died of an apparent heart attack, Ferreer told the Journal.
LaFee's daughters, Michelle Scott and Nicole LaFee, would consider selling the business to someone willing to keep it open, Scott told the paper. Ferreer, who worked at the shop as an 11-year-old in 1955, said he might be that person, if the price is right. If he buys it, Ferreer may change the name to Neighborhood Spa, to reflect how well-regarded the shop is to its Somerville neighbors.
"You can go anywhere for coffee and sandwiches but you are never going to get another Jerry and that’s what’s going to be missed in the neighborhood," Amici said.