Sunday, July 27, 2008

There Will Be Bulletins

Greetings, readers. I share with you on this weekend a few points of somewhat long overdue news around the towns and in regards to the website itself.

Firstly, we are currently working on polishing the site. Due to an absence earlier this year, we've realized some of the pages have gone by the wayside in terms of corrections. Additionally, we aim to fix those and other things. Will we improve our insipid decor? Probably not. Until then, we would still encourage you to look into our past entries.

And now, some news.

Avon, Route 44 former "The Pie Plate" location to Become Car Wash Site

AVON -- The once long vacant blight on Route 44, originally home to long defunct local Connecticut restaurant chain The Pie Plate, on outskirts the of the former Caldor, now Walmart plaza, was demolished earlier this year and is soon on its way to becoming a car wash. The Caldor Rainbow was there last July for what we didn't know was to be our last glance of the site, which had sat vacant for over ten years as the property slowly dwindled.

It's a shame really, apart from a friend of mine whose mother painted the mural inside the sunroom portion of the restaurant to my brother becoming wickedly ill after an afternoon meal, we will miss what's understandably last vestige of a beloved, bygone Connecticut eatery who, despite cafeteria-grade cuisine had memorable pies, given their namesake and groovy signage and yellows and browns I will never forget inside the once Westfarms mall location.

Route 44 "Munson's" Demolished for "Best Buy," Renovated Munson's strip mall
WEST SIMSBURY -- Bolton-based gourmet candy and chocolate retailer Munson's has gotten a full revamp of their distinctly-shaped Route 44 property, in West Simsbury outside the Hoffman's Auto dealership. The brown-clad, cylindrical-shaped, shingled-roof showroom was purchased by Munson's in addition to their Simsbury Drake Hill Mall location once apart of Hoffman's property in the late 1980's. The site was razed earlier this year for electronics juggernaut Best Buy, who celebrates its first property on the mighty strip sharing the space with a strip-mall styled location for Munson's.

Construction which began late 2007, has been completed (and farewell to that gem of a road sign pictured to the right, complete with shingled hut roof).

Thanks For 18 Years: Westfarms "Footbeats" Closes
W. HARTFORD -- A rapidly transforming Westfarms Mall on the West Hartford-Farmington line will see another long-time tenant leave in place for classier clientele. Footbeats, a children's-based shoe retailer has closed its Westfarms location after 18 years of service, leaving nearby Westfield Meriden, Enfield Square mall and Waterbury Brass Mill Center locations to remain.

Many children who grew up in the 90's will remember buying their insect-print, slip-on loafers and Keds' stock there will now have to explore other options as the Taubman-owned mall pushes out yet another veteran tenant for its target of luring upper-scale tenants.

The Return of Bristol Ocean State Job Lot: "TJ Maxx" Relocates to former "Job Lot," accompanies rumored "Borders Books" at Bristol Plaza
BRISTOL -- Well, folks, Ocean State Job Lot, the Bristol chapter lives to reign another day.

That's right, New England's favorite retail roach is coming back to Bristol and back to Bristol Plaza location. This time, it will be moving across the way in what's currently space for TJ Maxx, who took over the property when clothier D&L (Davidson & Leventhal) declared bankruptcy in 1993.

D&L "PROTOTYPE," MAY 1965 (Photo courtesy: The Hartford Courant).



D&L, who opened its doors in a 1965 prototype location, saw its facade completely renovated in 2006 when after a 12-year stretch, TJ Maxx renovated the once crumbling, space-aging building. Job Lot, who rarely puts the bucks into remodeling repossessed sites, will have the work done for it as it moves into the old building this Fall 2008.

Late last year, we reported Job Lot's planned closure as it failed to renew its lease on what originally had been the property of a decades old Stop & Shop before they moved into a former Bradlees location in 2003, on the opposite side of the plaza. The former Stop & Shop/Job Lot has been renovated in uniform with the current TJ Maxx to accompany a subdivision: a relocated TJ Maxx and mystery anchor.

Rumors continue to persist Borders Books has eyed the site, but nothing is etched in stone.

Oh and about the mall, while it may be gone, the property is still fenced-off, and in limbo.


Stay focused for at least one last juicy article before we depart for an August vacation.