August 15, 2022

That crazy Spag’s! How I miss it


By John Guy LaPlante    With six photos

Yes, how I miss, as do thousands and thousands of other folks who knew it. Spag’s was one of a kind. Impossible for anyone to replicate it. And what a sad and tragic ending it had. I knew it at its greatest. And just saw it. Closed, Empty. Dead! Just a pitiful ghost of the great and unique and hugely successful store it was.

Spags signature store near the end. No longer Spags. Now Spags 19!
Spag’s grand signature store near the end. But a huge change had taken place. Look at the sign. It was no longer Spag’s. It had become Spag’s 19!

It was in Worcester, Massachusetts. Well, just across Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury at 193 Boston Turnpike.  Maybe you knew Spag’s. So many people all over the U.S.  got to know it. If you were a visitor or tourist and heard about it, for sure you’d go take a look. And you’d  buy and buy. And go home with grand stories to tell about it.

It was a discount store. One-of-a-kind. Quality merchandise at the most reasonable prices imaginable. In fact, a department store. Stocking just about anything and everything you might need for your home plus things for your office or business.

Clothing. Food. Tools. Kitchen stuff. Furniture. Paint. Office supplies. Sporting-goods. Auto accessories. Gift items. Books. Garden stuff–trees, plants, fertilizer. Photo and music stuff. Everything you might want for Christmas or Easter or

It was my Number One go-to store all the time I lived there. I’d bet that it was the favorite store of thousands of folks in that whole metropolitan area. I’d even bet it was the most successful store the Worcester area ever had till then.

It was called Spag’s because that was the nickname of its amazing founder, Antonio Borgatti. He loved spaghetti! Everybody called him Spag–the mayor, the governor, even people who came in with only a dollar or two, or teenagers just looking.

Spag got off to a fast start. Right after graduating from Shrewsbury High, with $34 borrowed from his Mom, , he opened a sidewalk stand. He sold odds and ends.. Right there, where he was destined to become the best known retailer around. [Read more…]

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