NORTH HAVEN — Town Fair Tire plans to break ground this month on a new Route 5 store on the former site of the Rustic Oak restaurant, which closed in 2014.
“We’re actually breaking ground this month to begin the project and we’ll be opening a new store probably in late spring,” said Michael Barbaro, senior vice president of Town Fair Tire.
After Rustic Oak closed, Town Fair Tire started seeking local approval to build on the site, 165 Washington Ave. They will relocate to the new store from the current one down the street at 55 Washington Ave.
Barbaro said the new store will be about 7,500 square feet and include tire service bays in the back. It will be “much bigger” than the current store he said.
In December of 2015, Town Fair Tire was granted a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the right to locate an automobile business within 500 feet of Grover Wyman Park, with a stipulation that only tire-related work can be performed at the business.
The Planning and Zoning Commission approved Town Fair Tire’s application in January of 2016.
Economic Development Commission chairman Richard LoPresti said the Zoning Board of Appeals’ approval included some other concessions, including that they would leave some of the property’s oak trees intact and plant additional trees.
This came after several residents sought to protect the historic oak trees that surround the property.
Town Fair Tire was waiting to start construction until the lease on their current store was close to finished, which is in the spring of 2019, Barbaro said.