Published On: Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

Trip Back to My Hometown and Calvelli’s

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This past month I have been settling back in after heading back to my hometown of Lapeer, Michigan. My first night back it snowed, it was 38 degrees all day for the first week. It was in stark contrast to what I was use to from the past five years living in Florida. But there was one thing I missed most of all: Calvelli’s, a local restaurant and bar just on the edge of the old town, a small distance from the main street. The first thing I did was go and have a classic Calvelli’s burger, with bacon and BBQ. And while that burger filled me with so much happiness and nostalgia, it also reminded me of change.

When I was growing up in Lapeer, there was nothing more exciting to hear that the family was heading to Cavelli’s, to get some of that delicious food, see the sights and play my favorite old song on the jukebox, Big Bad John. Back then, Cavelli’s had an old 60’s-70’s theme, old fashion cars and pictures everywhere. A jukebox full of oldies, and good ole’ local facies who you came to remember and love. It was the best part of my childhood, until I moved away with my family to Florida.

Last year, however, it was purchased by a pizzeria called Papa’s Pizzeria. And while the food was still good… something about it all was just off. The theme of the place had entirely changed. Everything that had defined Calvelli’s to me, or atleast the one I grew up with, was gone. The pictures, the car stylization, the jukebox. When I went there, it was just a plain restaurant bar that now served pizza. Sure, they still had the stage and the entertainment, but to me something of that place I grew up with was gone. But is that all so bad? It’s hard for me to say. I may go back there sometime, to have a good old fashion Calvelli’s bar burger, but I feel like something about it will always feel off to me.

For better or for worse, I will always miss the place I grew up with and left behind. The cold winters when we went there for a hot bowl of french onion soup, the summers we would go out for chicken tenders and burgers and listen to the jukebox. Those memories will always be with me, no matter how my hometown changes. But I am glad it is still there after all these years, even as it is now. Because that little restaurant bar is part of what makes this town my home, and part of what makes Lapeer the great little town it is.

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