Businesses await impact of Westover cuts

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Uncertainty grips businesses awaiting a final decision over the loss of planes and jobs at Westover Air Reserve Base, and their concerns may be more emotional than financial.

A photograph of a C-5 signed by the crew adorns at wall at the home-style cafe on Westover Road.

Owner Hollie Warren told 22News, she doesn’t know what the economic fallout will be to the restaurant she’s owned for the past 14 years.

Warren said, “We have built up relationships with many of the military. Everybody knows everybody by name. They come in and they know the waitresses, they feel at home here.”

Delmonte’s Bridge Cafe has always been a favorite place for Westover personnel. Owner Frank Delmonte gets nostalgic when he describes that relationship when his father owned the restaurant almost sixty years ago, and business has fallen off, but not because of personnel cutbacks.

Delmonte said, “Well over the years, there are a lot more restaurants here, a lot more businesses here. The men don’t get off the base like they used to years ago.”

Memories now clouded by uncertainty over the future of half the fleet of C-5 planes and the possible loss of 300 jobs.

These restaurant owners cling to the words of Congressman Richard Neal that the loss of planes and jobs isn’t a done deal.

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