Venus de Milo in Swansea closing due to pandemic
SWANSEA, Mass. (WLNE) – The Venus de Milo in Swansea is closing after 60 years in business.
The banquet facility located on Route 6 is up for sale after declining sales and canceled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been an emotional week I can tell you that,” said owner Monte Ferris, speaking to reporters Tuesday.
Ferris grew up in the building that was opened by his father as a bowling alley in 1959. He started as a dishwasher and worked his way up the ladder to be the owner.
“There’s no way to replenish financially when it’s a virus,” Ferris said. He estimates his business has lost millions over canceled events.
But he’s grateful they’ve had such a long run. The Venus de Milo was the region’s destination for wedding receptions, work functions and everything in between.
“You’ve got your long-term customers, corporations, financial institutions, teachers, unions… We’re just blessed to have that kind of loyalty.”
Their famous soups and other dishes will still be available for takeout at the location until the building sells. Once the property is sold, the takeout will move to Jillian’s, a pub owned by Ferris in Somerset.
“We will always have our takeout for years to come.”
The takeout venture will be named Venus Foods and Ferris hopes to expand it to the Providence area.
He said what he’ll miss most are his dedicated employees. Many have worked there for decades.
“We have so many people who’ve been here for so long and, believe it, your people make you who you are. I mean, our family worked very hard but it’s our people who made us what we are.”
© WLNE-TV 2020