MERIDEN — The developer of 24 Colony St. is in talks with a restaurant proprietor and a taproom operator interested in opening in the building’s commercial space in the heart of the city’s transit-oriented district.
”Leasing is in progress,” said Westmount Management President Rick Ross. “We’re working with two new interested parties, one to do a breakfast and lunch restaurant, and the second will be a taproom.”
Discussions center on the design phases and requirements for both businesses. Final drawings are underway. Once finalized, the parties can discuss lease terms, Ross said. A range hood and ventilation system would have to be built in the restaurant.
The potential taproom operator is not the same one who expressed interest in opening a year ago, Ross said. Justin Maturo, who opened the Erector Brewing Collective in New Haven in 2015, and John Kraszewski, owner of Armada Brewing in East Haven, had planned to open a taproom but talks fizzled. The new operator would bring a variety of beers from state breweries, Ross said.
Downtown officials would not name the potential restaurant operator but said she is a city native, experienced, and has a culinary degree. She is also excited about opening in a key downtown property, potentially providing food for the new taproom, said David Cooley, director of Making Meriden Center.
The $24 million four-story building was completed in 2016 through a combined partnership between Westmount Development, the Meriden Housing Authority and the state Department of Transportation. Apartments were leased quickly, but the 10,000 square-foot commercial space has remained empty.
The Silver City Ballroom, 16 Colony St., and several smaller eateries are among the only businesses currently near the new train station.
The taproom and lunch and breakfast operators are the first serious contenders for the building’s commercial space since it was listed.
“While there is still a long way to go, we are very excited,” Cooley said. “We’ve been assisting the potential restaurant proprietor and she has impressive credentials. Obviously a taproom and restaurant combination would be a nice catalyst for 24 Colony and the downtown as a whole.”
Commercial leasing has picked up downtown. Meriden Commons I recently announced a lease for a deli and fried chicken eatery on the corner site on State Street. Mr. Taco, a Mexican restaurant, has also signed a lease for restaurant space at 69 Miller St. and is expected to open in March.
There are three other potential restaurants in the advanced discussion stages, Cooley said.
City Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski said she had few confirmed details about the new potential tenants.
“But we certainly encourage the owners to continue to work on every new lead that comes in and we will assist in whatever way we can,” she said.
Read more articles like this and help support local journalism by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access just 99¢
Read more articles like this by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access for just 99¢