Colt 'Institution' Closes On Monday

Hampton Union, Wednesday, May 5, 1976

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

EARLY MORNING REGULARS AT COLT'S FOUNTAIN will have to get their "coffee and ..." elsewhere after May 10. The soda-fountain-snack bar operation is being replaced with an expanded card-gift-stationery department, according to the Casassa family which has owned and operated the store since 1944. [Courtesy photo by Ralph Morang]

HAMPTON -- Monday, May 10, will see the demise of an old Hampton institution.

The soda fountain-snack bar at Colt News store will serve its faithful customers for the last time.

Judge H. Alfred Casassa, son of the owners Herb and Olga Casassa announced the closing of the food facility in the store. The greeting card and stationery department will be expanded and the store will undergo some renovation, he said.

The store itself, which the Cassasa family has owned and operated since 1944 will not close during the alterations. Casassa said the changes should be completed by the end of May.

The store was operated for at least ten years prior to the Casassa purchase by David F, Colt, Sr., the late father of a former Hampton Selectman David F. Colt, Jr.

Mourning Bands For Colt's

An Opinion

Hampton Union, Wednesday, May 5, 1976

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

If it happened in Hampton, you'd be sure to hear about it in Colt's over coffee the next morning. "Hearing it at Colt's" even became a standing joke at meetings of the Hampton School Board. And, members of the press depended heavily on the news generated from Colt's counter every morning before they hit their typewriters.

Now, that downtown Hampton institution is in its last days. Come next Monday, Colt regulars will mourn the closing of the store's counter which is being removed to make way for more profitable items.

Any given weekday morning down at Colt's, one was always guaranteed some lively conversation, bit of gossip and some genuine news.

At election time, the politicians were there doing a little campaigning and even doling out free coffee once in a while.

Colt regulars included a congregation of school bus drivers recovering from their early morning runs; State Representatives Jane Kelley and Larry Gillis; Hampton Tax Collector Lou Brown; Glyn Eastman, Colt's own newspaper king, having his morning breakfast or our own reporter Ann Moore trying to get the scoop before the Portsmouth Herald's Ann Gouvalaris.

Or there might be Al Casassa wearing one of his many hats ... judge, lawyer, town moderator or owner of Colt's grabbing his morning paper and a cup of coffee before a busy day upstairs in his office.

And if you were lucky you might get a "Hello" out of Attorney Seth Junkins who was always engrossed in his morning news. We've always envied Seth, by the way, because after many years of practice, he has artfully mastered the knack of folding and reading his newspaper without bumping into the next guy's coffee cup. We tried to imitate him, but it never worked.

But the story we like best about Colt's is the one we heard about Kenny Russell. For the first ten years of his marriage to Ann, Kenny would rush out of the house every morning at 7:30 to "get to work."

It wasn't until 10 years later that Ann found out his workday didn't really begin that early. But, his day did begin at Colt's!

Now all that morning comraderie will come to an end on Monday. A little mourning celebration, is planned for that day by the regulars complete with black arm bands and a few tears.

Where will the regulars move to now? No one seenns to know for sure yet. But wherever "the" place is, it will never be the same as Colt's.