urban brick deland mediterranean bowl

Editor, The Beacon:

It was wonderful to see Urban Brick get such a great write-up in the Sept. 29-Oct. 5 Beacon. The restaurant is a treasure, but its owner, Rosemarie Morelli, is even more so. Let me tell you a story.

Something over five years ago, my world was shattered when I lost my husband, Jack, after a long illness and 65 years of marriage. A good childhood friend of my eldest son, Mark Grantham, called and said, “I want to take you to dinner. Meet me at the Urban Brick.” I replied, “And where is that?” (Dining out had not been possible for me for a while.)

When I arrived, I was met by Mark and his friends, the town’s greatest storyteller and Stetson’s inner voice, Tommy Smith and his wife, Peggy.

I had heard of Tommy but never met him. Rose took us to a table in the rear, and she never missed a beat, personally overseeing the three courses she had chosen — each a work of art. The wine was perfect.

It may have been the finest dinner I have had in DeLand. We lingered long, but when it was over and Tommy asked for the check, Rosemarie replied, “There is no check. This is for her,” pointing to me. Tommy pressed a $50 bill into her hand and said, “Give this to the chef.”

That night changed everything for me. To be met with such kindness at such a vulnerable time in my life released all the grief that had built up from losing Jack. I will be eternally grateful to those friends, and especially for the effort of Rosemarie Morelli that made that possible.

There is one more chapter to this story, for this past year we lost the inimitable, gravelly voiced Tommy Smith. When Mark called and asked, “What can we do for Peggy?” the answer came easy: “Urban Brick.”

This time, Mark and I together pressed $50 bills into Rosemarie’s hand and said, “Give this to the chef.” A circle had been closed.

Sally Landis Bohon



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