Nonpareil, tucked in the historic district of downtown Belvidere, offers epicurean, contemporary American cuisine, featuring a full range of rotating, local-sourced, farm-to-table produce, with ample vegetarian options and tapas portions, if desired. Seasonal appetizer, soup, entree and dessert specials offered daily. Set in the famous Boglioli’s Palace Of Sweets, a circa-1877 National Register of Historic Places designated and preserved award-winning building, the entire restaurant is fitted in the original, fully refurbished circa-1931 Art-Deco adornments, set amongst a professional gallery of artwork, collected from all over the world (an eclectic mix of contemporary, cubist, folk, landscapes, portraiture, pop, aboriginal, abstract expression, photographic and mixed-media forms). Original art available for viewing pleasure during dining; other original art available for purchase.
A Bit of History – You Are In A 1955 Time Capsule!
Back To The Beginning
The Belvidere Bread Company is situated in a historic circa-1880 building. This structure first operated as a hardware store in the late 1800’s, then as Searles Grocery store until the early 1930’s.
In 1934, during the Depression, the building was bought by the Boglioli family and transformed into An Art Deco-style sweet shop, the Boglioli’s Palace of Sweets (the name is still etched in the exterior glass façade). All the built-in fixtures, booths, display cases and counters you see were fabricated in a Philadelphia millwork specifically for John and Dina Boglioli and shipped to this Belvidere store in 1934 for installation.
The Palace of Sweets was a local institution, the “place to be” after the movies or after school; it operated successfully from 1934 until August, 1955, when all of downtown Belvidere flooded due to rising waters of the Delaware River, caused by Hurricane Diane. The water was several feet deep in this building.
After the flood waters receded in 1955, John and Dina Boglioli shut the door and closed the Palace of Sweets forever.
An Untouched Time Capsule
The shop sat just as it was in 1955, with jars of candy and nuts on the counters and soda syrup in the cabinets, untouched for the next 46 years. Through the end of the 1950’s, and all through the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, the windows were shuttered with curtains – no one could see in – and the property and contents became the focus of fanciful mysteries, stories and local lore for almost half a century. What is inside? Why was it left untouched for so long?
In 2001, the Boglioli family, which still owned the building, and had so for the past 67 years, sold the building as is – contents and all. Walking in, the store was filled to the top of the booths with memorabilia and 50+ years of household accumulations. Calendars were still flipped to the 1950’s, still-wrapped Valentine candy hearts sat waiting to be sold and the daily ice cream flavors from 1955 still hung on the wall. Flipping the switch, almost all of the booth sconces lit-up, and the overhead candy-colored lights worked, like they do today.
If you look around, just about everything you see is original, including the booths, tables, chairs, lighting, counters, glass display cases, even the milk shake machine! It took 6 months to fully clean and restore the shop area, as well as the 2nd and 3rd floor original Art-Deco-style apartments over the bakery. Look up! – the upper display shelf at the rear of the bakery houses some of the candies, nuts, candy canes, cocoa and syrups which sat untouched for almost 50 years!
And now – this is the new home of NonPareil.