Bill Moran never envisioned himself as sole owner of The Strip Joint in Canton.
He was content work with owner and friend Gary LaStoria. Tragically that changed when the 58-year-old LaStoria died at work in March.
“It wasn’t my career path,” Moran said. “I thought I’d be working with Gary until he retired.”
But Moran is no novice to the furniture restoration and refinishing business.
While still a teenager he worked for John Holt, who ran the House of Holt at the corner of East Hill and Bahre Corner.
Shortly after he graduated Canton High School in 1978, Moran went to work at The Strip Joint. The business had started in 1973 by Kent Tower in some barns once located behind what is now The Green Papaya. It later moved to its current site at 6 Colonial Drive.
LaStoria was a finishing foreman at Hitchcock Furniture when he came to work at the Strip Joint circa 1979, Moran said.
LaStoria and the late Donald Dozier bought the business in 1979.
Moran had left for about five years to run his own business in Torrington but came back to The Strip Joint after Dozier’s death in 1997.
He’s been there ever since and recently he bought the business from LaStoria’s estate and finds himself the sole proprietor of a shop that once employed four people.
He's made a few changes. Gone is the large tank LaStoria used to strip paint off large items such as doors but also sadly led to his death, caused by toxicity of Dichloromethane (Or Methylene Chloride), according to Canton police.
LaStoria loved old cars, radio controlled airplanes and being a deacon at Center Congregational Church in Torrington
Moran said they were friends outside of work and helped each other on the job.
“I’d say I learned a great deal from him and vice versa," Moran said.
Now Moran is running a business but also just doing what he does — restore and refinish furniture.
“It’s been my career,” Moran said. “This is what I’ve always done.”
That work has always been a big part of the Strip Joint and Moran said business has been good.
“Most of my work is repeat customers and referrals,” he said. “Our reputation has been good for some time. We’re really established in this part of the state."
The Strip Joint
- 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday
- 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Located at 6 Colonial Road. “
- 6 Colonial Road
- (860) 693-0501