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[UPDATED] Asian Restaurant to Take Rivenova's Place in Stratford?

If you haven't noticed, there are a couple cardboard signs in the windows of the former Rivenova spot that claim "Asian Restaurant Coming Soon!!!"

It seems a new Asian restaurant will be making its way to Stratford Center.

Driving around downtown today you may notice a couple signs in the windows of the former Rivenova restaurant broadcasting "Asian Restaurant Coming Soon!!!"

Right now it's unclear whether that means Thai, Chinese, Japanese or another Asian cuisine, or if the restaurant will blend more than one type of cuisine on its menu.

A few weeks ago Stratford Patch asked residents what they'd like to see move into the spot on Main Street, and there were some who supported an Asian restaurant:

"Since Lotus closed, there are no nearby Asian restaurants," said commenter Mark Hannon. "Lotus was a bit overpriced so I would like to see a reasonably priced Chinese or Thai restaurant in this spot. This would give one more good choice to downtown diners."

Well now that it looks like an Asian restaurant will be moving in, what do you think about the potential for the business? Do you think it should specialize in one type of Asian cuisine or offer several options of food from the world's largest continent?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The original story "What Should Take Rivenova's Place in Stratford?" follows:

Let's call this a modern spin on community planning -- Patch's version of a charette, a digital drawing board where all ideas are on the table.

Each week we'll present a new vacant building and ask you to tell us what you think would be the best use. Forget what zone it's in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts people most to sleep. If you had your way, what would you like to see there? What would be the best use for the community?

We launch this new weekly series by featuring the now vacant building at 2410 Main St., the former home of .

After opening in July 2009, Rivenova closed its doors this summer.

The restaurant tried to be upscale but it didn't have a bar and that was one of the problems, according to Neil Sherman, chairman of Stratford's Economic Development Commission (EDC). It also didn't offer a children's menu, he said.

And although the theatre next store helped drive business, there were also competing restaurants across the street like and , Sherman said.

The EDC Chairman said the building was occupied by a tea room before Rivenova moved in two years ago. He said there may be talks going on to bring in another restaurant.

But what would you like to see move into the Main Street property that's only a few steps from the train station? Another restaurant? Something else entirely?

Jason Bagley (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Some great ideas so far; keep them coming! I especially like the suggestion of a coffee shop. When I'm looking for java and Wi-Fi, I go to the Starbucks on Barnum, but I'd love to have another location to set up in. Here are some comments I received this morning from Stratford's former town planner David Killeen, who is now working in Monroe: "Under the Town’s Land Use Plan, almost any commercial use could go into this location (retail, office or service uses). On a long-term basis, since this property is near the central core of the Town’s anticipated Transit Oriented Development district, I think it should be considered for any variety of uses from retail, including convenience retail or flower shop or bakery to service uses (cleaners, tailor, barber or hairstylist, coffee shop) or even another restaurant (assuming there are enough people living in proximity to the area to be able to support these uses)."
Roger Salthouse November 02, 2011 at 04:32 PM
I think a bike shop would be a great idea, if I am not mistaken there was one ther along time ago, man am I getting old. Rapps was the name . Father and son Saul and ?..
Jaclyn Rothenberg November 02, 2011 at 05:19 PM
How about something along the lines of -- Catch a Healthy Habit --located in Fairfield, CT. It is a quaint take out/sit in eatery. They offer organic ingredients, sandwiches, wraps, soups, breads, so forth (using fresh and local farm ingredients). The Stratford farmer market seems to be a success with Stratford residents and surrounding town residents. A healthy eatery, tastes fresh and good for us too. On another note, regarding Stratford -- I will be running the ING NYC marathon this Sunday, Nov. 6th. I will be representing Stratford, CT. I wish all the Ct marathon runners a terrific run.
Theresa November 02, 2011 at 05:43 PM
AGREE!!!! PLEASE, No more pizza restaurants in Stratford. We have at least 12 of them. Upscale doesn't work here. Must have bar (sad comment on Stratford).
Theresa November 02, 2011 at 05:44 PM
There was a bike place in Paradise Green area years ago (Spoke & Wheel..or something like that) At least your idea is novel.
Theresa November 02, 2011 at 05:45 PM
YES!!!!!! An Uncle Willy's type of place.
Robyn Greenspan November 02, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Good luck, Jaclyn! Can't wait to hear about the experience at our next Stratford Women's Club meeting!
john morthanos November 02, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Rivenova was packed when it was a BYOB ... pricing was reasonable, food was good and management seemed to care ... then no more BYOB, bad wine list and food pricing went up and quality went down. Other towns all around the country have successful downtowns that cater to the community needs and residence budgets.
Jaclyn Rothenberg November 02, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Robyn, Thank you! Great idea to think to tap into the haunted past of Stratford. Especially since -- they say haunted theme parties, costumes, so forth is said to be believed a billion dollar business. To move Stratford forward -- new ideas, new thoughts, new considerations for our town and residents - much success to you on election day!
Suzanne Palazzi November 02, 2011 at 06:22 PM
I agree with you Anne! Of course I would like to see an Indian Restaurant, But all of the above sounds good to me, a DIFFERENT eating experience to attract Town and out of Town residents.
bpiretti November 02, 2011 at 06:51 PM
A coffee shop would be nice there. I do miss Reality Cafe. Such a comfy place.
Rusty Nail2 November 02, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Five Guys Burgers and Fries!!!! In and Out Burger!!!! Defibrillator Station !!!
Laurie November 02, 2011 at 08:08 PM
How about a vegan/vegatarian restaurant. There are none here in Stratford. Some healthy choices would be nice.
Stratford Town Studios November 02, 2011 at 08:32 PM
I would have to say the town needs an Indian Restuarant. Too many pizza places, and there are plenty of burgers spots. I also think any investor can get away with a nice chinese/sushi sit in bar restuarant.
Stratford Town Studios November 02, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Great idea!
Mark Hannon November 02, 2011 at 09:00 PM
One other possibility would be to approach a restaurant like Liquid Lunch which has several locations in Shelton and Milford about opening up a branch in that space. They have a great lunch menu and might expand to serve dinners
Louise Ortega November 02, 2011 at 10:39 PM
A kid friendly cafe with a play corner, bookshelves, kid friendly menu (plus interesting eats for adults), space for strollers, a notice board for childcare/baby classes etc. and in the early mornings it could cater to the commuters.
Sarah November 03, 2011 at 12:09 AM
I miss Reality Cafe too! We need healthy, fresh, soups, salads and sandwiches. Or authentic Middle Eastern food (not just falafel). Tabbouleh Grill in Southport is amazing. Also LOVE the Goody Bassett tie-in. How many other towns can claim they had a witch?? Too bad NYC already has a business called 'wich Craft.
Judy Johnson November 03, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Great idea indeed. Chinese restaurant
Judy Johnson November 03, 2011 at 01:11 AM
Ally Pleckaitis: Starbucks really would be great love the coffee and also have sandwich's. But not only that you can take your laptop with you all starbucks I go to you have computer use real good coffee and a real good sandwich. Great for businessman & Woman and even kids of all ages. And people like me old and not working lol. No joking that would be GREAT. I even buy starbucks coffee to make at home as well..............
Tricia November 03, 2011 at 02:45 AM
Forget Starbucks we have one forget Thai we had one that no longer exists - I'm all for a great old school sandwich,soup,coffee/tea smoothy shoppe that has wi fi and a patio-sometimes ur just looking for a healthy light dinner /lunch with fresh ingredients and with the train station and theatre nearby this would be a great location- and if we can tie in the "witch factor" I think we would have a winner!!!
Jason Bagley (Editor) November 03, 2011 at 04:33 PM
I'd like to add an idea Stratford Patch received via Twitter from @mandaswanson: "I'd love a gap or a jcrew. Let's bring in some shopping!" Follow Stratford Patch on Twitter @StratfordPatch.
Kevin Stagg November 03, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Lets make sure we spend our $$$ at EXISTING LOCAL BUSINESSES and keep THEM in business! Let's not lose any more businesses! We are lucky in Stratford that we don't have too many of the big chain restaurants--they're fine, but lets support our neighbors who OWN AND OPERATE businesses in our town! GO OUT FOR DINNER TONIGHT!
Frank Stirna November 04, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Maybe something along the lines of a will stocked, Hobby Shop, that type of business is capable of creating it's own interest, then demand, when people see what is available.
Jon Sinish November 05, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Jason, I believe Goody Bassett's has had Wi-Fi for months! Check it out!
re26 November 07, 2011 at 04:53 AM
If a restaurant, then a thought is Ethiopian. None of the surrounding towns except Hartford and New Haven have one. Otherwise, some indo-chinese ala Chinese Mirch in the city. Again, unique for most and no comparables nearby.
Helene E. Logan November 29, 2011 at 07:08 PM
Not certain why 'oldmanteenager' said (in a teen's voice certainly) "Gross" to an Indian Restaurant, but I welcome that idea too. Lotus had fabulous food, I still miss them (Oh, King & I, won't you open a satellite? LOL). And yes, please--NO MORE ITALIAN (it appears that half of them aren't run by Italians to begin with). There are plenty of good Italian places, no need for Yet Another Mediocre one. Years ago, a fellow said 'Stratford is a donut town' when his (delicious) bagel store went under. And unfortunately he was probably correct--too many people like 'oldmanteenager' still reside here--folks who fear food variations they're unfamiliar with. Sigh.
OldManTeenager November 29, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Guess what Helen E. Logan, I am the future of Stratford and there is not a chance in the world that an "Indian" restaurant will EVER succeed here. Do you think anyone between the ages of say 18-35 (besides hipsters) think to even eat Indian cuisine? You're mistaken if you do. Most people who live in Stratford don't even frequent the existing restaurants in town.
howard November 30, 2011 at 06:25 PM
I like that idea alot!
Elizabeth Howard January 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I would LOVE to see a well run coffee house! With live music and books, and healthy lunches.

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