Selectmen honor salon owners for generosity
Northborough - Nicholas Olivieri and Michael Abdella, owners of The Spa at Nicholas Michaels, the West Main Street salon ravaged by fire in October 2007, were honored by the Board of Selectmen at its March 24 meeting for their recent contributions to the town.
Selectman Jeff Amberson read a plaque of appreciation that was presented the pair, who held a fund-raiser following the Oct. 18, 2007, fire. The event raised $25,000 – all of which was donated to the town's Police and Fire departments.
"It's really an amazing thing, what they've done," Amberson said following the presentation. "The spirit they showed. At a time when most people would be worried about themselves – and rightfully so – they were worried about doing something nice for the town."
Olivieri and Abdella have run the business for 17 years.
"We decided to do something for the Police and the Fire Department because they were so amazing and have been so amazing through this whole process," Abdella said. "I remember standing on the front lawn that night at four o'clock in the morning and Chief [David] Durgin telling us, 'You're going to get a chance to be like the phoenix and rise from the ashes.' And he was right. We didn't believe it then, but we're close to making it a reality now."
Olivieri said the plans for the new salon, which will be located in the same historic brick house, built in 1850, were recently completed.
"We're close to hiring a contractor to do the work," Olivieri said. "Hopefully that will start in a couple of weeks and we'll be back in and have a grand re-opening by mid-June."
Olivieri and Abdella have temporarily relocated their business across the street in the former Agway building at 411 West Main St.
Abdella said they presented half of the money raised ($12,500) to the Fire Department and half to the Police Department.
"We just wanted to do something to show our appreciation," Abdella said. "Everybody was so positive, so wonderful, so worried about us. We've been in town a long time and while we're not lifelong Northborough residents, they treat us like we are."
Durgin said he has never experienced such graciousness from a business that has suffered such a loss in a fire.
"It was extraordinary, an outstanding gesture," Durgin said. "They're good people. They've just been forced out of business by this devastating fire, and their thoughts are with helping the town."
More than 40 firefighters from Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, Marlborough and Shrewsbury fought the two-alarm blaze, which started between the basement and the flooring of the first floor about 1 a.m.
Durgin said the cause of the fire is still not known. Early estimates put the cost of damages caused by the blaze at about $250,000, but by the time the salon re-opens, the cost to do so may be closer to $1 million.
Abdella said Nicholas Michaels has one more surprise for the police and firefighters who were on the scene of the fire.
"Once we open, we're going to give everyone who was there that night helping us with the fire a coupon for a complete spa treatment, just to again show our appreciation," Abdella said.
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