SOUTHINGTON – Town planners questioned builders of a proposed LongHorn Steakhouse on restaurant design and traffic during a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday night.
The restaurant chain hopes to build a location at 200 Executive Boulevard, a site off West Street near the Interstate 84 exit. The restaurant and its parking lot is proposed for the front of a former insurance building owned by Joe Moruzzi.
Commission vice chairman Paul Chaplinsky asked if improvements could be made to a congested road connecting West Street to the building owned by Moruzzi and a shopping plaza that includes Target, Lowe’s and other businesses.
After hearing that the restaurant will have an entrance on the connecting road as well as Executive Boulevard North, Chaplinsky asked if Moruzzi could consider expanding the connecting road. The road bottlenecks between Moruzzi’s land and another parcel. Chaplinsky suggested Moruzzi expand the road to allow shoppers to more easily pass.
Stephen Giudice, a planner representing Moruzzi’s application, agreed that the road presented a traffic problem but questioned how the work was related to the restaurant as the bottleneck point was past the proposed entrance for the steak house. He also suggested restriping as a solution
“The entire parcel is fair game for discussion,” Chaplinsky said. “... this might be a small fix to alleviate the problem.”
“This user didn’t create the problem,” Giudice responded.
Neil Terwiliger, a representative with Darden Restaurants, Inc. – which owns Longhorn Steakhouse – explained the beige, brown and orange color scheme are part of the chain’s brand.
The commission took no action on the restaurant application Tuesday.
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