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Two Possibilities for the Openings at the South End of ShopRite Plaza

The Queen Street plaza is bustling a bit again after ShopRite established roots in Southington, but the south end near Moe's Midwestern Grill remain unoccupied. What would you put there?

It's time to get creative again. Put on your planning hats and help build a vision for Southington.

Let's call this a modern spin on community planning - Patch's version of a charette, a digital drawing board where all ideas are on the table.

Each week we'll present a new vacant building and ask you to tell us what you think would be the best use. Forget what zone it's in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts people most to sleep. If you had your way, what would you like to see there? What would be the best use for the community?

The ShopRite Plaza is a-bustling again, thanks to the replacement anchor store, but there are still several vacancies. The Bernie's has shut down on the north end and there are two vacancies to the south.

So what should go there?

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Looking around the plaza, there are already multiple restaurants, an iParty, the grocery chain, a CVS and a tire warehourse. So most anything, other than a sexually-oriented business, is probably open game.

There is some history at the 750 Queen St. plaza, which until recently had a difficult time retaining stores. But in recent years, despite the slower economy, things have seemed to turn around for most.

So what's the best fill for the location? A clothing or shoe store of some sort? How about something entirely different?

How would you see the store filled? Tell us today!

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Diane Anderson October 08, 2012 at 01:19 PM
A Panera restaurant would be nice. I also agree that Southington could use a craft store. I have to drive to Plainville or Waterbury for the nearest Michaels or AC Moore and they are always very busy.
SkinC51 October 08, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I hate always going to the mall. Any one of these would be good: crafts store, book store, gift store with wares from local artisians including art, bath and body items, cook books, specialty books, small gift items, aromatherapy.
Steve Lewis October 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I'd love to see a Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, or Panera move into Queen St
WhiskeyTangoFoxrot October 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I'd like to see another package store. Queen St has far to few of them.
Linda Vasile October 08, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Barnes & Noble
Susan October 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I'd love to see a Barnes & Noble, a bakery (Panera), or a Jo-Ann Fabrics (Southington has taken a hit with the closing of the small Jo-Ann's and now Wal-Mart eliminated fabrics from their craft dept). I think a sporting goods store would do well in the Bernie's spot as well. I think a Christmas Tree Shops would be fabulous but then it would be my *budget* taking the hit. :)
Sarah Hall October 08, 2012 at 04:24 PM
A Barnes & Noble or craft store would be great.
Geatano October 08, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Quality retail is really lacking on Queen Street. Others have mentioned these... Best Buy, Panera, Barnes and Noble, Christmas Tree Shop and Sports Authority. Why is it that Queen Street has never attracted quality chain stores or even outlet retail stores? No problem attracting restaurants though.
Maria Bellemare October 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Home Goods. The closest one is in Rocky Hill.
LC October 08, 2012 at 06:29 PM
FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES!! Panera would be nice, Barnes & Noble, craft store.
S10 October 08, 2012 at 07:06 PM
A sewing store....yes since Joanne's left us I have found it difficult to find simple things like the right color thread, thimbles, button matches...simple things needed to repair clothing. I am not a huge sewer and I don't make clothing from scratch but we all need a place nearby so that we can repair our clothing. Even Walmart did away with their sewing section! Where do we go now when we need to sew patches onto our Scouts uniform or hem a pair of trousers that are dragging on the ground? A book store is also a great idea especially since the public schools are not supplying reading materials yet demanding certain books be read by the students. The public library just doesn't have enough of the certain required titles to go around to all of the students. Often we as parents are given no notice of the need to purchase a book and the student is docked points off their grade if they don't have a parent who can find the book and buy the book for them. These are the kind of useful vendors that I would find very welcome to be nearby and accessible without having to take my business elsewhere. I think that we have enough greasy food places, since Ponderosa left, I miss a good salad bar. The only place I know of is Ruby Tuesday's.
peggy fabian October 08, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Would like to see a Panera bakery we do not have a bakery in this town and Paneras offers nice quick lunch of soups and salads. We have enough pizza/fast food places.
kathleen knott October 09, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I'd like to see a craft store like Joannes or Michaels and a Christmas Tree Shop, how about a Tuesday Morning store? We don't need more restaurants or liquor stores in town, we have MORE than enough.
Jayne Schumacher October 09, 2012 at 05:07 PM
With the exception of Homegoods and Christmas Tree Shops, travel distance to the other possibilities mentioned above is relatively close. I think either Homegoods or Christmas Shops would bring the highest number of customers to spend their money in Southington.
Marc Bramhall October 11, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Panera was going to open there, but back out when the landlord told them they couldn't have a drive-thru even though the town approved it last November.
Marc Bramhall October 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Barnes & Noble or Home Goods would fit great into the old Bernies if H&R block moved to the other end of the plaza. Then either one could fit. If you want to really complicate things you can move Petco next to Moe's. Build a new CVS across the street where Beijing was, put I-Party where CVS is, and build a new spot for Town Fair Tire and H&R block in back on the new CVS. Then you can have both Barnes & Noble and Home Goods in the Plaza with around 3,000 Sqaure Feet Left over.
Mark LeJeune December 14, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Queen street has too many package stores in my opinion. You have the one next to Subway, the huge one that just took over the old car dealership (forget what brand), and the one next to Erika's. I'm pretty sure there is one in the Wal-Mart plaza as well.
Mark LeJeune December 14, 2012 at 01:46 AM
At any rate, they need to further renovate the plaza. Somehow, it needs to look sharp and uniform. Shoprite made it look a lot better, but the yellow that they chose isn't very good for staying neutral with other major stores that could come in. Something like the Bob's furniture shopping center would be nice. Anyone else agree that a nice renovation could help speed things along?
Arthur Cyr December 14, 2012 at 04:17 AM
NO. They just renovated the entire facade. You may not like the color, but its okay and thats not what will attract or deter new businesses.
Nestor February 04, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Arthur, the village idiot, has spoken!
Arthur Cyr February 04, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Monday February 4, 2013 Actually, Buffalo Wild Wings went before P&Z a while back with an application to occupy part of the former BERNIES location at the northern end of the plaza. Last week there was a report that they were now in discussion to go into the former Citi Bank location at the far south side of the plaza. Actually, whatever company or developer is interested going into any vacant store or parcel is great news.
WhiskeyTangoFoxrot February 04, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Nestor, Be grateful do you know how many villages would like to have an idiot like ours?
Sheri February 04, 2013 at 04:59 PM
I have heard that Panera is going in at the bottome of Lopet St. Long horn steak house is going in the empty lot next to Outbavk and Olibe Garden is going in front of Target...Honestly unsure how much of these r true!!
Doreen Santaniello February 04, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Christmas Tree Shop!!!
Arthur Cyr February 04, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Sheri - UNFORTUNATELY........... none of those are true. Just the wild rumors that start every time PATCH.com runs one of these articles and a dozen people post their *wish* list and then others spread the names around as fact. Panera Bread was originally looking in the ShopRite plaza last year but the deal fell through. (Cit-Bank location) That is where BWW is going. There *ARE* lots of people looking at different locations at every exit off I-84. The only thing solid and positive is B-W-W on Queen Street and a new restaurant on the same parcel as the new HOTEL being built on West Street at Corporate Drive.
Hugh Cares February 04, 2013 at 09:11 PM
We need more package stores!!!
Kristi Sunbury February 04, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I am not sure we need any restaurants or package stores. Book stores sound great but they are closing with everyone shopping online and then we will be stuck with a vacancy. I think it would be great to add retail stores like the Simsbury Commons to keep people from going to Westfarms and Westfield Shopping.
Marc Bramhall February 05, 2013 at 12:37 AM
There is no chance that Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or Longhorn Steak House is coming to Southington. There was just a report 2 weeks ago that DRG (parent company of the above) is struggling financially.
Joann Generous February 06, 2013 at 12:32 AM
I would love to see Whole foods come into our town.
Marc Bramhall February 07, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Joann - we already have 4 grocery stores in Southington if you count Tops IGA Marketplace. The town can't support the 4 already in town, we DO NOT need a 5th.

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