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End of an Era on Park Street

Local business owner losing his gas station after 46 years.

Lew Vorrilas opened the gas station, North Reading Service, formerly Lew's Mobil, on Park Street 46 years ago. As a tenant at will, Vorrilas did not have a lease, but still found an eviction notice on his door last November.

"A neighbor first asked if I was closing," Vorrilas said. "I didn't know anything about it." 

A few days later, Vorrilas received the eviction letter stating that he owed rent payments for the last five years. After producing the paid checks, Vorrilas was still asked to vacate, he said. 

William Ryer, owner of the land, declined comment.

The members of the community will miss having the gas station in the center of town. Resident Mel Peake said, "I've gone there many times for gas. That's sad that he's leaving. He's a good guy." 

Even those who wouldn't normally frequent the station seemed disappointed by the closing. Resident Keri Copobian said, "It's convenient. We stop there in a pinch, but it's expensive."

Though his station is closing, Vorrilas' son will stay in town.

"My son is going to move down the street," Vorrilas said. "I have to be out of here next month." Vorrilas' son, George, currently works with him, and will open a new location behind the original Jared B. McLane House.

The new location has special permits for automotive repair, state inspections, graphic design, signs and vehicle lettering, and recreational motor-sports marketing and repair.

The permits did not include one for dispensing gasoline, which leaves Lew Vorrilas without a business.

dave c June 01, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Hope that who ever is behind taking a mans living away form him is punished , maybe like or friend from overseas was Obama . We all feel for you Lew , anyone who new or worked for these people will now what i mean honest as the day long and very fair to all hard working and always there when u needed them . worked there for 6 years or so and never could i find a moment that we weren't having a good time . George i know you will succeed and wish you best of luck as i know you will always be there for your dad as he was for you . thank you guys for all the great memories Dave c
eric e June 01, 2011 at 06:14 PM
The only constant is change. Maybe a new lease somewhere else? Sounds like someone wasn't paying attention. A lease is not forever. Why didn't Lew know he was a tennant at will. Maybe the current owner needs to sell. We don't have all the facts so it's not time to point fingers
Alex Vorrilas June 15, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Out with the old and in with the new is all these young hothead contractors think about these days. My grandfather is 84 years old and as far as I'm concerned was forced out of his life long business, and means of income. Bill Ryer needs to sell the property? Seriously... I have known the man for 21 years and the last time we spoke he didn't even know who I was. I think it is more a matter of the voices talking into Bill's ears that are the ones so motivated to sell the property and make a quick buck off the man. Its a sick world we live in and I hope whatever goes into that location fails. Have a nice day. Alex Vorrilas
John Intorcio June 15, 2011 at 07:39 PM
Plenty of public vitriol being tossed around. I'm sorry to see anyone put out of a job but landowners have rights as well. Let's hope there is an opportunity here for a bit of a town common facelift!
Jillian June 17, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Shame on the ruthless, money-hungry scavengers who have taken Lew's pride and joy from under his feet after the last 46 hard-working, loyal, and loved years. They are not taking away this business from only Lew, but his family and the community has has patronized him for years. Shame on them for only thinking of themselves. My family and I will miss seeing you on the corner and wish you the best of luck with your forced retirement. Thanks for always being reliable and friendly. Best wishes Lew! Sincerely, The Barfords

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