The building that now houses Freestones City grill was originally built as the Citizen’s National Bank in 1877. it was part of the Robeson Business Block that included all of the buildings on William St. from Acushnet Ave. to N. Second St. It is believed that the Citizen’s National Bank building and the building next door, which is now owned by Carter’s Clothing, were identical and both were owned by banks; a sign of prosperity that flourished back in the 1800’s. The Citizen’s National Bank furnished their building with a beautiful marble floor and an elegant president’s office, where there still stands a fireplace and mantle that encompasses a whole wall! Across the room from the mantle is a mural that was added in either 1892 or 1942. The bank is also responsible for the freestone addition to the facade of the building; ( the rectangular hand cut bricks on the exterior are known as Long-meadow Freestones ). Thus the inspiration for our name.
The building experienced two fires, the first in 1934 when the New bedford Acushnet Cooperative Bank inhabited the building. The fire destroyed the third floor which is no longer a part of the building. The second fire was in 1951, when in the hands of Haskell’s ( a local bar and restaurant with legendary “Flavor” ). The fire, caused by a burning cigarette after closing, left scorches on the rear pillars in the main dining room which can still be seen today. Haskell’s continued to operate as a restaurant and bar for a while and eventually became the Pequod Lounge. In 1978 the Pequod lounge closed. After a year of restoration, the space we now know as “Freestones”, opened it’s doors on March 9, 1979!