MERIDEN — The site of the former Jacoby’s Restaurant should soon have a new tenant — a Texas-style barbecue and smokehouse.
The city’s economic development director, said Thursday that Taino Smokehouse plans to open a restaurant at 1388 E. Main St.
Mayor Manny Santos said the restaurant’s arrival will be good for the east side and the city as a whole.
“I think it’s awesome,” Santos said. “I think maybe that might spark a little activity over in that area, so I can’t say enough good stuff about it.”
The restaurant currently has a location in Middletown.
According to its website, the restaurant “prides itself on delivering fresh, house made BBQ to Middletown, Conn. ... Connecticut is not known for BBQ but it is our goal to change that.”
“Some nights they have music; it’s a really fun place,” Burdelski said of the restaurant’s Middletown location. “It’s a fun concept for Meriden, and anyone who loves good barbecue is going to love this place.”
According to property records, Taino Smokehouse LLC bought the property for $140,000. The company closed on the property Monday, Burdelski said, just weeks after Nutmeg Financial Holdings LLC reduced the price. The bank bought it in foreclosure years ago.
Burdelski said the owner of Taino Smokehouse approached the city two years ago about adding a location in Meriden, but was deterred by the high price of the lot on East Main Street. The start of an East Main Street tax incentive program and the price reduction have since made the property more appealing.
It’s considered a challenging location because Spoonshoppe Brook runs through it, and previously flood control improvements to the underground piping at the site would have cost upwards of $400,000. The city worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update flood control and topographical maps, however, making more space available for development.
Representatives of city departments will work with Taino Smokehouse owners to develop a plan for safely redeveloping the area, Burdelski said.
“I think it’s a unique and a pretty good property to have that kind of restaurant,” Santos said. “This is the kind of stuff that we always hope to hear.”