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South Boston Jewelry Store Faces Uncertain Future

BOSTON (CBS) - A tiny jewelry store that has survived because of its outstanding service and friendly faces is facing a very uncertain future.

After decades in service, the store's owner has been told he needs to move out.

For 47 years Billy Cosetta has called Murphy's Jewelry a second home.

"I started here when I was actually ten years old," Cosetta says.

But now everything has changed. On Saturday he got an eviction letter from the landlord.

Murphy's Jewelry
Murphy's Jewelry in South Boston (WBZ-TV)

"He's just going to get me out of here and renovate the whole building and probably get somebody in for higher rent," he says.

In 1969 previous owner Tom Murphy hired Cosetta as a little boy to run errands. He has worked here ever since, buying the business from Murphy about 20 years ago. Now he has 60 days to hopefully relocate.

"I just figured I'd be here until it was time to retire or die or whatever. To all of a sudden know that your life, something you've been doing for your entire life that you've been doing since you were ten years old, you can't do anymore and now what do I do at 57?"

Billy's wife Mary is beside herself. The couple's kids and grand kids are a constant presence at the shop too.

"To sell is one thing, but to be evicted?" Mary asks. "Where are we going to go what are we going to do? It's not right."

The community loses something too: an old school jeweler who fixes rosary beads for free.

"I've fixed a lot of rosary beads through the years," Cosetta says. "Some of the times its cost me 20, 30, 40 dollars to fix somebody's rosary beads, but I've never charged anybody yet to do it."

It's no secret that times are changing in Southie, and everywhere else. But when this store finally does close its doors it will be a sad day for a family and a neighborhood.

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