Amato’s Toy and Hobby Store of Main Street, Middletown, is celebrating its 70th year in business. To celebrate, Amato’s created a 3,000 square-foot train exhibit with seven operating model train layouts, local railroad memorabilia, and as its highlight, the extensive pre-war Lionel train collection of Amato’s owner and founder Vincent Amato. This collection includes rare trains from the early 1900’s and an extensive Buddy L. toy truck collection. These items have been in storage and have never before been shown publicly.
On Wednesday, July 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Amato’s will host a private showing of this exhibit for the National Lionel Operating Train Society (LOTS), which is holding its annual convention in Middlesex County. 150 LOTS members will come to Middletown to visit this unique toy and hobby store and view the collections. The event also includes dining al fresco on Main Street at the Third Rail Café, an outdoor dining experience created for the LOTS members with catering by Middletown’s own Chef’s Palate.
Amato’s invites the public to enjoy this exciting exhibit during the following times: Thursdays and Fridays, July 15 and 16 and July 22 and 23 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, July 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, July 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The exhibit is free to the public.