Since 1958, Gus & Paul's in Springfield has served fresh breakfast and lunch to patrons. But those days are coming to an end. As reported yesterday, December 30 on Masslive.com, small business Gus & Paul's is closing its doors tonight, December 31, and may never re-open.
Owner Gordon Weissman posted a picture of a "Closed for Remodeling" sign on Gus & Paul's Facebook page, but the caption was less optimistic. "Tomorrow may be my last day at 1209. [I'm] trying to get something worked out[,] but I will be closing New Years Eve at 8 p.m. and I am not sure if I will reopen and certainly not [until] Valentines Day [at] the earliest. So if you need a G n P fix tomorrow could be your last chance," he wrote.
According to Masslive.com, Gus & Paul's has been plagued with tax problems in the past few years. Eleven months ago, the deli was seized by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for owing $53,000 in back taxes. Six months before that, the deli sent out an appeal to the community to save it.
But there may be more to the closing than reported. Two recent reviews posted Gus & Paul's Facebook page indicate that the business end was falling apart. "Really wish I could write a good review for this place, but I can't. The bakery is decent. The deli is a mess: overpriced, terrible, terrible service. Two stars [is] unfortunately a gift," one patron wrote.
"Last cake I bought from them was stale," another patron wrote.
Still, Gus & Paul's Yelp review page gives it four out of five stars, with nine reviews total. Either way, it is hard for a small business, particularly a deli and bakery, to compete in a climate where large grocery store chains sell premium baked goods and chain sandwich shops prepare panini and exotic soups.