The venerable neon signs advertising Leo’s Liquors at Brookfield’s Eight Corners have been up for at least five decades, maybe going all the way back to the year 1960.
Prior to that, the corner’s pie-slice building was home to Paul Incrocci’s delicatessen, with Leo’s Tavern located back up Maple, but still in the same building.
But now, as travelers around the circle may have noticed, the neon signs are gone — part of a refurbishment program begun in early November.
“Hopefully, it will be done before Thanksgiving,” said Bob Doshi, one of the “new” owners, here since October, 2010. “We began work out front around mid-November.”
According to co-owner Aaron Patel, it was time to update the look of the business, and it was time for the neon to go.
“The signs have been there for a long time — 50, maybe 55 years — and after a while we thought of giving it a new look,” said Patel.
And the makeover isn’t cheap, said Doshi.
“It is costing us about $15,000,” said Doshi, “but we’re doing it more so for the community. It will brighten up the entire circle. And not just that, it will look a whole lot different. We want our customers and our community to know that we want it to be presentable. It was long overdue.”
The owners explained that there were no physical problems with the signs, but that they thought the storefront should have a “brand new look” to it.
“We should have a special event celebrating the new look sometime before Christmas,” said Doshi.
Interior work is also being completed, such as a new front display area.
“In the back we have just installed a new walk-in cooler. We can now sell 350 different new crafted, micro-brewery beers,” said Doshi.
According to the owners, they wanted to update the character of the store.
“We are trying to bring in a fusion of the new and the old,” said Doshi.
So all the old neon signs are gone. Even the most memorable of them all, the glowing “LEO’S” one out front has been replaced. But no matter what changes are made, the new sign over the doorway will still say “Leo’s.”