To the Editor:

The “heart” of any small town is not its government, its schools, its library, or even its Green. The heart of a town is the place where people meet, talk, laugh, debate, catch up, or just sit and relax and watch the world go by.

In bygone days, such a place was usually the general store, where folks would meet and sit around the potbelly stove, or sit on the porch of the building and chat with those passing by.

While New Milford may have had a general store in the past, now the place that is the “heart” of New Milford and has been for almost 30 years, through various owners, is the Bank Street Coffee House. It is a warm, friendly place where “everyone knows your name” or will if you give them a chance.

It is a unique place in the center of town where people go to meet friends or make new ones, read the paper or their tablets, do some business work or school work, or just relax and watch people walk by. Unfortunately, now that heart is being torn out by a landlord who has ordered the business out by the end of the month, with little concern for the consequences of this action.

The owners of the coffee house will sustain a great financial loss but the town will sustain an even greater one with the loss of a wonderful place to go.

Obviously, it is a landlord’s right to control his property the way he sees fit, but the suddenness of this action and the brief timeline involved make a case for special consideration.

I don’t know if anything can be done such as an extended timeline until the end of the year, finding a suitable alternative in-town location or just vocal support. All I do know is that the town is facing the loss of another important element of what makes New Milford such a great place in which to live.

Carl J. DeVoe

New Milford