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Norm's, Longtime Brewster Business, Closes

Norm's Old Homestead in Brewster has closed its doors.

The owner, Dan Ledley, announced the news in a note taped to the door at the Route 22 restaurant. It was dated Dec. 29, 2013. Here's what it said:

To all my customers:

After 27+ years at Norm's and almost 56 years of work I have decided it is time to say goodbye and close. I appreciate each and every one of you and thank you for your dedication and loyalty.

If you have any outstanding gift certificates or if you are an owner of a Super Bowl box I will happily refund your money. Please leave your name and contact information at 845-279-9595.

With best regards,

Dan Ledley

Patch was unable to reach Ledley Monday and Tuesday.

Village of Brewster Mayor Jim Schoenig has been frequenting the restaurant for about 15 years, often times with family and friends. He said the news came out of nowhere, and he heard about it when one of the bartenders called.

"He knows I usually come down for the game, he said 'Don’t come down because the bar’s closed,'" Schoenig told Patch. "I thought he was joking at first."

Like many people around Brewster and Southeast, Schoenig will miss the burgers and wings Norm's served for so many years. He will also miss "that charm to it where everybody somehow knew someone in there." He said it reminded him and his wife of the atmosphere on the television show Cheers.

"You used to go in there and you’d get a history on Brewster because his family is from Brewster," Schoenig said of Ledley.

Schoenig said he received several phone calls from local folks wondering what happened to the restaurant. 

Norm Donnelly was the original owner. The restaurant was destroyed during a blaze in 1982, according to this issue of the Brewster Standard. More than 100 firefighters battled the flames.

Use the comments section to share your memories of Norm's. 

babypotato January 02, 2014 at 10:34 AM
So sudden....hopefully a new bar moves in there. It would be nice to see the old building remain, like scoirotinos/brew pub did
Bern January 02, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Norm Donley was a member of another long time Brewster family (not sure why spelled that way in the paper but incorrect). He was a character- I heard stories as a kid of him driving down Main Street with his dog at the wheel, him just working the pedals. I don't know if that was before or after he became blind.
Raj Gujar January 02, 2014 at 11:09 AM
This is sad, we need more action in Brewster , everyone just goes to Danbury Mall for food etc.
BARBARA January 02, 2014 at 03:55 PM
ohhhh the stories many of us could tell.....I am speaking from "way back when".....Norms was the "in" place to be.He would check the ash trays with his fingers to see if they needed to be emptied and then check your beer the same way !!! He is a legend~
Irene Broderick Bain January 02, 2014 at 06:33 PM
So sad. Norms was a great place to go. Mr Ledley was also a great boss to have. He taught us young how to work and position yourself for success. Will be missed
Jane E. Schneider January 02, 2014 at 07:07 PM
My brother and my sister-in-law had been going to Norm's every Monday night for decades, and Norm's was our go-to place for family get-togethers. After about an 18-month absence following a tragic death in our family, we all finally went back to Norm's a few weeks ago, where my brother and his wife were welcomed back with hugs and tears by Dan. Our family was really glad to re-start the family tradition, so this news brings sadness and so many, many memories. We will all miss 'our place.' Jane Sechny Schneider
Stephen Kozlowski January 07, 2014 at 03:23 PM
This is really sad news....Norm's is like the heart of Brewster, and the Ledley family is the soul that carries it...
Walter Hope January 09, 2014 at 03:29 PM
Wow, I can remember when I was a kid (50 years ago) my father Bernie Hope and Norm Donnelly where good friends and the stories where very entertaining!
Maria Clair January 15, 2014 at 12:07 PM
OMG An era truly ended! I was one of the reprobates who worked at the Fore n Aft North and after hours Norm would open to us and we stayed till the very wee hours laughing and eating and having his "Mystery Marys" - I have fond fond memories of the old Norm's - and thought the new building very attractive and it made me happy to see the place live on. The Ledley family fed many of us old Brewster-ites for years - always the caterers for gatherings and apres-funeral gatherings at homes....it is very sad to see this place close its doors.

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