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A Cozy Chat with the Basha and Boulos Families

Black and white photograph. Exterior view of Cozy Chat. There are two bay windows on the second floor.

Exterior view of Cozy Chat, Main Street, Windsor. 1952.


“The Bashas I do believe operated the Cozy Chat and that was a like a jukebox diner back in the day. I was sad to see that go. But that was a popular spot. I’d say a lot of people met their significant others on Main Street in those places.”

Black and white archival photograph. Wedding party of Florence Hollett and Jack Maloney seating around tables inside the Cozy Chat.

Wedding of Florence Hollett and Jack Maloney inside the Cozy Chat. Circa 1940s.


As Corey Sharpe remembers, sisters Mary (Boulos) Basha and Di Boulos owned the Cozy Chat. The Basha and Boulos families were both of Lebanese descent and owned and operated other businesses on Main Street including the Vogue Theatre and Connolly’s Shoe Store.

Audio clip with transcript: Yvonne Courtney describes the Cozy Chat. 

“The Vogue Theatre was run by Mr. Jim Basha and I remember going there. Both sides and up the middle there were seats and up top you could go up there and have a smoke – the crowd that were old enough to smoke. You’d go to the theatre and you’d get a bar, a bag of chips and a bottle of drink, and you’d get into the theatre for a quarter. I remember that and you had a little booth there.  You would just get your ticket there and then you had your drink machine where you put in the money and you haul your drink down through the slot and haul it up.”

These are the recollections of Frank Beson – one of many Windsor residents who grew up heading to the Vogue Theatre, which was operated by Jim Basha and Margaret (Boulos) Basha. It was well known for its Saturday matinees, weekly serials, and as the spot for kids to trade comic books.

Black and white archival photograph. Street view. Connolly’s Shoe Store and Tuma Jewellers in centre of photo to the right of Vogue Theatre.

Main Street, Windsor looking east. Vogue Theatre on left. 1965.


Jim’s sister Margaret (Basha) Connolly ran Connolly’s Shoe Store on Main Street. As Roy Oldford remembers:

“Connolly’s was a typical shoe store except that they had seats with little stools that were on an angle and you put your shoe on. They had shoe horns and little mirrors in front of you so you could see your shoes and this sort of thing. The Connolly’s were related to the Bashas or Boulos and they ran that for years. It was a nice spot to go and while a lot of the shoppers got their shoes at Riff’s or Cohen’s because they ran that as well, Connolly’s was a place where you specialized in shoes.”