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What Should Take the Place of Paradise Mobil?

There's plenty going on around the empty lot. What would you like to see added to that activity?

It's another eyesore in town caused by a vacant gas station lot.

Much like the one on the corner of , Paradise Mobil -- or what remains of it -- is a blemish on an otherwise bustling area of Stratford.

Across the street from the vacant lot is the , a popular new restaurant and bar that opened less than a year ago. And just south of the old gas station is the Paradise Shopping Plaza, home of , , and others.

There are many useful places within walking distance of the empty lot. To name a few more: , and , our Readers' Choice winner for in Stratford.

So clearly the desolate lot is not in the middle of nowhere. There is potential for the right business. But what is that business?

Forget what zone it's in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts people to sleep.

If you had your way, what would you like to see there? What would be the best use for the community? What does Stratford and Paradise Green need? Tell us in the comments.

Baseball Mom April 04, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Starbucks! Oh wait they were supposed to move in but they would supposedly cause a parking problem and people would hang out. Oh wait 7-Eleven is so much better! Rita's or Taco Bell would be great!
Ed Orris April 04, 2012 at 02:24 PM
bruegger's bagels
Helene E. Logan April 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Oh, THAT would be classy.
Helene E. Logan April 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM
A Bruegger's would be nice. And true re: a parking lot, since parking is a problem (and a nice problem to have).
Elizabeth Howard April 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Hal, although I see the short-term logic in offering a parking lot, the area is too small to offer much relief than for more than a dozen cars or so. I recommend the town work toward making the Paradise Green area more WALKER and CYCLIST friendly (bike racks, walking paths, pedestrian crossings, more sidewalks) because the area is -- obviously -- surrounded by thousands of potential customers who don't need to drive to get there, but need to be able to approach the area on foot without the fear of literally being run down.
Elizabeth Howard April 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I would recommend a local food cooperative ... they have some great ones in NH and VT... here! Take a look! Not just for yuppies! http://www.coopfoodstore.coop/about
MrsStig April 04, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I think a parking lot is an excellent ide!
Pete Kap April 04, 2012 at 05:50 PM
That is what I would do if I had the money. I would have it be a 24hr place. I have grown up in The Green and as a teen (not old enough for the bars but too old to be sleeping before 10) I always wanted a place in walking distance to grab some late night grub or to just get out of the house (other than standing in front of 7-11). I think a diner would complement the sitting duck well too. It’s a perfect central location not just for the late night high school crowd and young adult bar scene but also weekend church go-ers and weekday local workers looking for a quick lunch.
cheryl halchak April 04, 2012 at 06:51 PM
An internet cafe/ coffee shop. Teens need a place where they can hang out and be safe.
Roberta Shea April 05, 2012 at 12:26 AM
A co-op food store is a great idea - with an organic restaurant on the premises.
George E. Mulligan April 05, 2012 at 03:28 AM
While the area needs parking, whoever would park in the spot would have to cross the street, in an area near where several accidents have happened. When AVCO and/or SHAKESPEARE open .... I expect movement by November 2013 ... there will be traffic repercussions on main street, elm street and around Ferry Boulevard. Sleepy Stratford will be getting a wakeup call. It ain't gonna be pretty! At Town Council and other meetings I've heard people complain that Paradise Green now has Subway & 7/11, instead of nice stores. > But they don't want the Yuppies chains like in Fairfield & Westport. > Yet 7/11 + Subway, are very successfull. I've used fast food places like Taco Bell, Subway, Arby's and others, yet when I of think paradise green, I think Historic District potential to be a quaint identity and maybe not the best for 7/11 + Subway per a tourist site. In Fairfield in the 1960s, Zoning made McDonalds look kinda Colonial. Originally resistant, the franchise owner came to embrace it and it was one of the biggest seller in the chain. Whatever goes into the gas station, I believe it might be good to fascade it with a tasteful theme for all paradise green merchant to want to embrace so they have an identity for them, patrons, and citizens to be proud? I suspect there is some contamination issues at a former gas station, and who know if there are any leaks for old underground tanks? It may affect options for the site.
PugTuxMum April 05, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Me too!
stratforddogpark@gmail.com April 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I would love to see a late night coffee shop... privately owned, that gets some local music in on friday evenings, but a perfect stop for high end bagel sandwiches in the mornings too. Somewhere I can connect to wifi and hang out with a latte :)
stratforddogpark@gmail.com April 05, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Sunny Side on the corner of Barnum and Nichols is just the spot you are looking for... opened about a year ago. Food and service are both very good.
The Cricket April 06, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Bring back Vic's
Jean Jacket Goat Boy April 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
how about an All-Denim Clothiers (pronounced: "klo-thee-yay")
JibCT April 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It will be a bank. If it can't be pizza joint, or an "Asian" restaurant (they already exist in the green), then it must be a bank. I'm sure this is covered in the economic development bible that the town seems to cling to.
Bianconeri1897 April 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM
How about a taco joint. Acapulco's reheated food isn't very good.
Tricia May 25, 2012 at 01:25 AM
although a diner would be a great idea as long as it has outdoor seating too. I'd like to see an all natural smoothie shop that could also be a place for wraps, salads, and sandwiches by day and a little hometown, live music bar at night..outdoor seating there as well. bring some life back into the green- sick of seeing 'chain' stores of every kind everywhere
Carole Bourne September 26, 2012 at 03:08 PM
George you seem to have your finger on the news around town ,so pray tell me whats happening at another closed {for YEARS} Mobil Station ,corner of Broadbridge and Porter ,that is as I type being demolished ,hopefully something GOOD is going up on the prime spot ? Carole
Carole Bourne September 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I also think a nice diner would be an added addition to that corner
Laura Dobosz September 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
1. Alcapulco's is awesome. 2. I wonder if there is enough parking for a diner. 3. Sunny side is great but they are not open at night. 4. we had a mom and pop (or mom and mom) place with Mary and Beth's and that went under. 5. Ok what else? A cyber cafe would be nice. We already have that with Starbucks and two failed at what is now McCoy's pub. Not to be neg. but I think a big part of why the Sitting Duck is working out is because they have corp. backing. 6. I realize I haven't offered much of a solution here. I wish I could. There have just been many, many businesses in both Stratford Center and Paradise Green that have been short lived. Until we figure out why that is, we will continue to have the same problems. Chineese restaurants, Coffee Shops, Hamburger Stands, etc. It's not like it was one genre of business, it was all. That is a problem.
OpportunistWatch October 15, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Your so right Mike.
OpportunistWatch October 15, 2012 at 06:01 PM
A bike shop would be great for Stratford not another eatery. The bike shop in Milford center does very well with Stratford residents why not keep the money & taxes in town! Low impact on the traffic and parking, high impact on health, and another business to add to the grand list. Its a win win for the whole community.
Walt October 15, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Where would the north end send their sewage and garbage?
Beetle Bailey November 20, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I like Mike's idea. Have the south end become it's own entity. Then the northern end of stratford would have more money to spend and less expense for entitlement programs. Let Obama support them not us in the north.It could be called Obamaford.
Beetle Bailey November 20, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Has anyone seen Diners, Drive Ins and Dives TV show? I'm sure a lot of you have. A lot of these folks seized on a dream and made it a reality. Most of these places aren't much bigger that your average old time diner. The idea is to take the idea of serving great, good, fresh food, some organic and some not, to the public and sell at a reasonable price. I know we have many different types of restaurants in town. Some I would eat at sand some not. I'm sure there is someone out there with an idea....dream.... of creating such a place. It would take a lot of work and dedication but it could work for the right person. Especially if the town gets out of the way and lets it happen. I think something like this would be great for Paradise Green not only for walkers from the neighborhood but people passing through. I could go on and on but watch the show and you'll see what I mean.
Bob E. Peel November 22, 2012 at 04:34 PM
How about a place that serves Fair food, you know food that you can only get once a year. Like fried dough, bake potatoes, cotton candy, turkey thighs. People stand on long lines to get at this stuff once a year.
Beetle Bailey November 24, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Or how about a BBQ place like Uncle Willies in W. Haven. Great BBQ
Beetle Bailey November 24, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I have to disagree about Alcopulco's. It used to be great. The food quality seems to have gone down the last few times I've been there. Tastes like frozen or pre prepared food. Just my humble opinion.

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