SOUTHINGTON — Town planners this week approved construction of a 110 Grill, a New England restaurant chain expanding in Connecticut.
The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved plans for the 6,000 square-foot restaurant in front of the HomeGoods plaza off Executive Boulevard South, just west of West Street and north of Interstate 84. Commission members said they were pleased to see a restaurant opening despite the pandemic.
“Gotta love you,” said Peter Santago, a commission member to company representatives before Tuesday’s vote. “I’m hoping that if this gets approved you’re very successful.”Modern American cuisine, allergy friendly
Kim Wallace, operations director with 110 Grill, said the restaurant chain offers modern American cuisine such as steaks, seafood and pasta dishes. The company also offers gluten-free meals and was named one of the top 10 allergy-friendly restaurants in the country by AllergyEats this summer.
Late last month, the company opened its first Connecticut location in Canton in The Shops at Farmington Valley. There are 30 locations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York as well.
The restaurant will have seating for more than 200.Expansion for Target plaza
Frederic Leopold, the New York-based owner of Northstar Properties, has been developing the land near the West Street exit off Interstate 84 for more than a decade. His companies own the HomeGoods plaza on West Street as well as the Lowe’s plaza behind the Target.
After establishing major retailers, the development company was looking for good tenants for land close to West Street, according to Kenneth Knowles, a professional engineer representing Leopold.
Chips Family Restaurant built a location just north of the planned 110 Grill location in 2018. Between that restaurant and the grill is a gas station owned by another developer.
Knowles said plans for the property approved in 2009 included a conceptual building where the grill will be, although those plans were successfully modified Tuesday to accommodate the restaurant. He said Leopold “had been looking for a really good, high quality operator for that parcel.”
The restaurant’s application prompted discussion of the traffic flow in the Executive Boulevard area, with some commission members concerned about merging lanes and curves.
Assistant town engineer Jim Grappone said the police department had made some improvements through sign and pavement markings.
“They feel what’s out there works,” Grappone said. “It’s not the best scenario, accidents are minimal, not zero.”
Commission member said concerns over Executive Boulevard traffic didn’t have any bearing on the 110 Grill application.