Our Story

Local History

Lakeway Commons sits on the site of the former Spag’s department store, where for decades locals could find “Spag-tacular Values” and a nostalgic sense of community and place.
Opened by Anthony A. Borgatti in 1934 as a tire and battery store on Route 9 in Shrewsbury, the store would expand to include hardware and other items by 1939, and since then was known by Anthony’s nickname, Spag’s

Anthony Borgatti's hardware store, circa 1940. (from the archives of the Shrewsbury Public Library)
from the collections of the Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester, MA

The discount retailer would quickly become a Shrewsbury icon known for its low prices, lack of shopping bags, and no-frills atmosphere. Mr. Borgatti died in 1996, and the store closed in 2004. Years later Grossman Development Group would begin developing the project known as Lakeway Commons, which has transformed the Spag’s site into a 375,000-square-foot mixed-use development anchored by Whole Foods Market and includes 100,000 square feet of retail, 250 apartments, and 14 townhouses.

[bafg id=”817″]

Honoring the Spag’s Legacy

Today the legacy of Spag’s lives on where shoppers can enjoy the same spirit of community that began with Anthony Borgatti’s store so many years ago. In 2017, state leaders and local residents gathered for a dedication ceremony to unveil a memorial by sculptor David Phillips to honor the legacy of Spag’s:

From 1934-2004, Spag’s was an iconic discount retailer where customers went to find it all, from fishing lures to eggs, and everything in between. Considered an adventure in shopping where you could always count on seeing your neighbors, “No Bags Spag’s” was environmentally friendly before it was savvy to be and kept prices low in part through a longtime resistance to accepting credit cards. Owner Anthony “Spag” Borgatti and his wife, Olive, will long be remembered for their generosity to employees and customers, as well as for their philanthropic community efforts to make life a little better for those in need. From the generations of young adults who held their first job there, to the thousands of customers for whom it was their “go to” place for shopping, the legacy and spirit of Spag’s continues to shine on in the hearts of our community.

dedication from Spag’s Memorial, 2017