Easthampton’s iconic Tasty Top demolished

  • Easthampton’s longtime summertime staple, Tasty Top ice cream shop, was demolished on Friday. CONTRIBUTED/IRENE GARJIAN

  • The Tasty Top ice cream stand building stood since 1950 before it was demolished on Friday. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/25/2022 8:34:19 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The iconic Tasty Top was razed on Friday, and for many who grew up in the area or even held their first job at the roadside ice cream stand, seeing the building get demolished was hard.

“It’s a sad ending to a local landmark that many people of all ages remember with great fondness,” Easthampton resident Irene Garjian told the Gazette.

Garjian shared an image of the rubble of the demolished Northampton Street building Friday on the Easthampton, MA Group Page on Facebook and received nearly 500 reactions and more than 160 comments, many of which expressed sadness about Tasty Top’s end.

Tasty Top Development LLC, which is registered to Frank A. DeMarinis, owner of Sage Engineering & Contracting Inc. of Westfield, was issued a building permit to demolish the Tasty Top building on May 3 after purchasing the 93-97 Northampton St. site from Dennis Courtney for $2.2 million on April 11.

Although the Tasty Top building was built in 1950 and would typically fall under the purview of the city’s Historical Commission as a “significant building” under the city’s demolition delay ordinance because it is more than 50 years old, the commission did not have a chance to weigh in. 

The property was previously home to six buildings, including a two-story barn, a one-story garage, a two-story residential structure with a stone foundation, an enclosed gazebo structure and a sales office/shed for Easthampton Golf driving range, according to a description contained in a 2006 asbestos and regulated material survey of the structures on the property.

At that time, the estimate to remove the identified asbestos-containing and regulated materials from all six structures was approximately $25,450. The property has since been subdivided.

In March, the Planning Board approved a special permit to construct and operate a 2,217 square-foot drive-thru Starbucks with 33 parking spaces on a 37,276-square-foot subdivision of the 32.78-acre property at 93 Northampton St., located between Burger King and Tasty Top.

Understanding that there was a level of confusion about how the parcels were split, City Planner Jeff Bagg reviewed the deed documents from the April 11 sale and explained that the property slated for Starbucks is on the parcel next to Burger King. Developers for that site also received city approval to remove the golf sales office/shed, which was taken down this week.

Future development of the parcel next to the future Starbucks has not yet been determined, according to Bagg. However, Sage Engineering & Contracting Inc. is seeking approval to demolish two of the structures still standing on the property.

On Wednesday, the public is invited to weigh in on the future of the barn structure and the two-story residential structure at what is now 95 Northampton St., which the Historical Commission has deemed as historically significant buildings.

The public hearing will be held both in-person at 6:30 p.m. in the first floor conference room at 50 Payson Ave. or virtually, via Google Meet. To tune in virtually, participants can go to meet.google.com/xcn-mcvw-pwy or call in: 252-313-9962 with PIN: 282-386-404.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.
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