Pam and Chris Gualtieri bring life back to historic building

By: 
Alexis Barker

Photo by Pam Penfield/NLJ

Pam and Chris Gualtieri have re-opened the Antlers Hotel with a number of new businesses inside, bringing life back to the historic building on Newcastle's Main Street. They are also the owners of the Pizza Barn. 

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor

 

Pam Gualtieri and her husband, Chris, have worked diligently over the past year to bring life back to one of the historic buildings on Main Street, making the couple the perfect candidate for 2019 Person of the Year. But this is not their only contribution to the community, said Andy McKay, the Newcastle Area Chamber of Commerce director. 

Although most people connect Pam with the couple’s recent ventures, because she has been the face out there the most, McKay said, Chris deserves just as much credit and will be diving in even more since his recent retirement from the coal mines. 

“Maybe the Energizer Bunny was based off of them,” McKay said with a laugh. “Even on his days off, he was cooking or repairing or something, and Pam, she is just everywhere. It is not only the sheer volume of things they do that astounds me but the quality as well. It just blows me away, every single time.” 

According to McKay, Pam not only runs several businesses within the Antlers building, as well as the Pizza Barn, she is also a member of the Newcastle City Council and the president of the chamber board. 

McKay said that the most iconic success in 2019 for the Gualtieris was bringing neon lights and life back to the Antlers on Main Street. 

“It just brings life back to it; the nightlife is back in downtown Newcastle,” McKay said. “But it is not just the aesthetics. They brought in Vetos, Hannah’s Heavenly Treats, Boopa’s and the bed and breakfast. They let the group who does Frightmare on Main do their haunted house in the basement. It just seems like they are doing things that are very community minded, and it is just wonderful to see.” 

Denice Pisciotti, who nominated the couple for Person of the Year honors,
said that it has been amazing to watch them bring life back to a historical downtown site.

“Pam would put teasers on Facebook about items she bought to put in the Antler’s building. That made it fun while peaking everyone’s curiosity,” Pisciotti said. “It was exciting to watch Chris repair the neon lights on the outside of the Antler’s as Pam posted pictures for all to see on social media.” 

She said that the community had already watched them renovate the Pizza Barn, which she believes made the downtown project so much more intriguing to watch. 

“They have not put in one eating establishment but multiple, with more to come. One of the best things about watching the new business adventure grow is watching Pam and Chris accomplish it together,” Pisciotti said. 

Pam said that what drives the couple in all their ventures is bringing the smiles to the faces in the community, the customers who walk through her door and, especially, the children. 

“It is the little things. It doesn’t cost anything to get a smile, I think,” Pam said. “The community supports us, and we just want to give back.” 

Pam said that one of the biggest payoffs in doing what she does is being able to connect with the children in the community. 

“I love having the kids come in and make their own donuts if I’m not busy and have the time. To see them so excited, I think they take more pride in what we have than maybe I do and then to see the pictures from their moms showing how excited they are with their donuts,” she said. “It is just exciting to show kids that they are not forgotten and they are important. I just love what I do.” 

Pam loves kids so much that, on the first day of the 2019 school year, she made enough donuts that every kid in the school district could have come in for a free donut to kick off their school year with a treat. She did this just to see their smiles and wish them the best of luck in the next school year. 

“I just love putting smiles on faces. Who doesn’t like to smile?” Pam said. 

In addition to running two successful businesses, Pam is also an active member of the chamber board and joined the Newcastle City Council in January. 

“I have spent a lot of time listening to the community, and I like to make a difference. I am not afraid of change, and I feel like with that and a positive attitude, I could maybe help or bring awareness to the important issues,” she said. “I think part of it is being from a big city and being around so much more, I come to Newcastle and see all of the different potential that others don’t and I thrive off that. There is so much potential here; it’s just how much can I do. I eat, sleep, live and love this.” 

Pam admitted that things might get a little easier for her now that Chris has retired and will be “taking a bit off of
her platter.”

“It is kind of scary, though, because now I can do more,” Pam said. “The other things that really give us the time to do all this stuff is our employees. I really have to say that. We have amazing employees, or we wouldn’t have the time to add stuff to our plate.” 

She also gave credit to the community support and the local businesses that have helped her to make her dreams come true, one smile at a time.

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