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Author Topic: Webster Square Plaza Berlin, CT  (Read 11284 times)
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Marc82
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« on: November 15, 2009, 01:14:53 PM »

The Webster Square Plaza in Berlin, CT really needs to be sold and redeveloped. It's a run-down plaza. 15 years ago there was a big fire in the plaza and you can still tell there was a fire there. There's the struggling A&P Super Foodmart and Harbor Frieght Tools. Then there's a fenced off vacant parcel where they tore down a building that burned during the fire. Then there a couple empty store fronts that on the inside look like they're still fried damaged. Then there's a big Billiard Parlor that closed down at the end of May 09. Then there's Job Lot (part of which was Foodmart some 5 years or so before the fire) and Family Dollar. There's a small Women's Fitness Center, a Chinese? Restaurant, a laundromat, and more vacant store fronts.

I would bulldoze the entire plaza. I'd build a BIG Y Supermarket, (the nearest one is in Plainville), then I'd try and get Central Pizza to move from Mill Street into the Plaza, Harbor Freight Tools can come back, Family Dollar and Job Lot can come back, then I'd see if I could get Subway to move into the plaza from Mill Street, maybe Matson Rug to the plaza from Farmington Ave, and then a few other stores. (Not sure what else).
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 08:27:31 PM »

I agree with you Marc. This plaza used to be a thriving active shopping center from what I've heard. BTW, the fenced off area that was torn down was the Berlin Woolworth store. It burned down in April 1997. The new Super Foodmart wasn't even six months old at the time. The fire forced the Cinemas next door out (that's the boarded up area with the original oval brick building design. Ultimate billiards was the floral department and produce department of the old Waldbaums Foodmart and Ocean State Job Lot is the remaining portion of WF. Coincidentally, I'm pretty sure those bathrooms in Ocean State were the original ones from Foodmart. The breakroom was connected to them.

What A&P should do is convert the Berlin Foodmart in to a Food Basics like the Bridgeport store and should remodel the Middletown store in to an A&P Fresh. The Berlin store can't continue on in its current state as an A&P full service supermarket.  
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Marc82
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 02:18:49 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by AmesNewington
I agree with you Marc. This plaza used to be a thriving active shopping center from what I've heard. BTW, the fenced off area that was torn down was the Berlin Woolworth store. It burned down in April 1997. The new Super Foodmart wasn't even six months old at the time. The fire forced the Cinemas next door out (that's the boarded up area with the original oval brick building design. Ultimate billiards was the floral department and produce department of the old Waldbaums Foodmart and Ocean State Job Lot is the remaining portion of WF. Coincidentally, I'm pretty sure those bathrooms in Ocean State were the original ones from Foodmart. The breakroom was connected to them.
 


Thanks for the info dude. Not being from the area I was wondering about the location of the old Foodmart (besides what I knew is now Job Lot).  I had been wondering about Woolworth. I already knew about the location of the cinema from the Cinema Tour Website. I seem to remember a pet store there from the first fire in that plaza. Where were they? What about Railroad Salvage? And What about The Current A&P Foodmart? What was there?

To me it should be thriving being right off of 9 and The Turnpike. Must be because the owner Chase Realty (his brother used to FOX 61 back when they first came on in the early 80s) is cheap. I mean yeah people are gonna pay to remodel a store front to fit there needs, but who wants to clean up fire damage?
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Marc82
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 02:40:57 PM »

Truthfully if I was able to get a bank loan there are 3 businesses I'd open in that plaza. There's no way I could get a bank loan being that I'm unemployed, have no collateral, no experience running any businesses, and that I have $800 in Credit Card Debt.

I would like to open a small book store with a small cafe inside, a restaurant, and a night club.

I know it seems kind of cheesey but I really like the name "The Webster Diner" for the restaurant and "Webster Square Books & Cafe" for the book store. I don't know what I'd call the night club. If I call it "Club Webster" people might get it confused with  "The Webster Theatre" in Hartford.
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2009, 03:25:42 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by Marc82
Quote
Originally posted by AmesNewington
I agree with you Marc. This plaza used to be a thriving active shopping center from what I've heard. BTW, the fenced off area that was torn down was the Berlin Woolworth store. It burned down in April 1997. The new Super Foodmart wasn't even six months old at the time. The fire forced the Cinemas next door out (that's the boarded up area with the original oval brick building design. Ultimate billiards was the floral department and produce department of the old Waldbaums Foodmart and Ocean State Job Lot is the remaining portion of WF. Coincidentally, I'm pretty sure those bathrooms in Ocean State were the original ones from Foodmart. The breakroom was connected to them.
 


Thanks for the info dude. Not being from the area I was wondering about the location of the old Foodmart (besides what I knew is now Job Lot).  I had been wondering about Woolworth. I already knew about the location of the cinema from the Cinema Tour Website. I seem to remember a pet store there from the first fire in that plaza. Where were they? What about Railroad Salvage? And What about The Current A&P Foodmart? What was there?

To me it should be thriving being right off of 9 and The Turnpike. Must be because the owner Chase Realty (his brother used to FOX 61 back when they first came on in the early 80s) is cheap. I mean yeah people are gonna pay to remodel a store front to fit there needs, but who wants to clean up fire damage?


The old pet store that had the fire was called "Pets for U" and was at the other end of the plaza near the chinese restaurant (the last storefront). It's still boarded up. Railroad Salvage is actually a good portion of the current A&P Foodmart. It was empty for a few years in the mid-90s and that was when Foodmart moved over there. There was also a Topps store in the plaza however I don't know where it was.  
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 12:28:42 PM »

Webster Square Plaza Update:

New Name = Berlin Crossing

Plaza is for sale for $6 Million.

Maybe now the plaza will get its much needed make-over.
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Jstar1994
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 05:41:39 PM »

This plaza is still up for sale. Ive been pushing for shoprite or big y to consider it. Also, I talked to whole foods since berlin is more of an upper middle class town. If the plaza sells and is redeveloped, the first thinkg that needs to happen is that the laundromat, family dollar, and ocean state need to be kicked out. Then the exterior facade needs to be modernized, the hole needs to be filled, and harbor freight needs to renovate and move to the ocean state spot. Then Shoprite needs to move to where A&P used to be, a larger store front needs to begin from the old theater to the harbor freight and the chinese restaurant needs to move to the corner lot. From the end of the relocated chinese restaurant one medium tenant can be retrofitted to that location. Where Ultimate Billards used to be, a starbucks can locate there. Two restaurant pads could be built in the parking lot.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 09:10:19 PM »

Shoprite is good, but they would have to find an owner to operate the store. It won't be The Drust Family and it won't be The Joesph Family. Why would you kick out Job Lot and Family Dollar? They're paying tenants and they draw in customers.
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 01:19:30 AM »

I would kick them out because it attracts lower income families to the area, any respectable tenant that draws large crowds would be the goal, but with these stores, it would be hard to attract the plaza to chains like home goods or bed bath and beyond for instance. The plan would be to improve as a whole, not slap a new paint job with the same crappy tenants
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TRU7536
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 02:04:05 PM »

what this plaza needs is a extreme makeover and something like Cosco or Bj's be perfect for the former foodmart.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 03:37:14 PM »

what this plaza needs is a extreme makeover and something like Cosco or Bj's be perfect for the former foodmart.

COSTCO will not open in Berlin because they're building in New Britain by Westfarms. Groundbreaking is schedule for before Labor Day 2013. Secondly no new business will open in the plaza nor will it get fixed up until it is sold.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 04:54:41 PM »

Ocean State Job Lot has purchased the Webster Square Plaza for $3.3 million.

Scroll down to December 6th.

http://berlin.patch.com/groups/real-estate/p/real-estate-sales-webster-square-property-sells-for-33-million
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Ames Newington
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2014, 08:44:17 AM »

I'm happy to report that for the past few weeks, work is being done inside the former A&P/Foodmart in preparation for Ocean State Job Lot to relocate this summer. It's just the right time, because the plaza really looks horrible at this point and Foodmart looked sad. Nothing is going on outside. They have put plastic over the windows so no one can see in. The lobby where the entrance and exit and bottle room area is not covered in plastic, but apparently anything past the entrance to the main store is considered a "danger" area and the sign says "Asbestos".

So much can be done with the entire shopping center, it's just sad that it was neglected for so long. If this plaza was properly marketed, it would be successful. The best thing for the plaza would to have a ShopRite or other supermarket back here. If an owner would ever consider Berlin for ShopRite (doesn't have to be the local family owners either), they have plenty of options in the plaza. I think the best place for a supermarket would be where Ocean State is right now which was the old Waldbaums prior to 1996. They can take the parcels to the right of that space and even expand to the old Woolworth's if necessary. Additionally, a TJX type store (HomeGoods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx) would be a good fit somewhere in the plaza. I think Family Dollar should move down to the remaining space Ocean State is not occupying in the old A&P. Don't say it can't be done (ShopRite) because you never know. The only problem with this plaza was the terrible condition it is in.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2014, 04:41:11 AM »

The City of Berlin, CT has announced it's giving Job Lot a Tax Break to help with the renovations of Webster Square Plaza.

http://newbritainherald.com/articles/2014/10/10/news/doc54373256e605d825537297.txt
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2014, 06:55:45 AM »

The City of Berlin, CT has announced it's giving Job Lot a Tax Break to help with the renovations of Webster Square Plaza.

http://newbritainherald.com/articles/2014/10/10/news/doc54373256e605d825537297.txt

So far, OSJL is doing a great job with this project. They painted the entire plaza exterior (excluding the old movie theater which never was given the most current façade). The new Job Lot is an amazing transformation of the old Foodmart. You would never know it was an A&P. They in fact used only the 46,000 sq. ft. as you can see the cutoff point past the east emergency exit. The article also mentioned demolition. I'm wondering if this means they will be tearing down the old boarded up theater part of the plaza. If you combine that piece with the old Woolworths space, it would make a decent sized supermarket.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2014, 03:45:12 PM »

2 tenants may be coming to Webster Square Plaza. The real estate company's website shows Lease Pending in 2 spots. It doesn't say who the new tenants will be.

http://northeastretail.com/Data/portfolio/berlin/119webstersqberlin.pdf
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 07:54:39 PM »

There are Asbestos warning notices posted outside the two proposed leased spaces (119 and 175 Webster Square Road), which means they are gutting them out. One step closer to getting them open again after being abandoned for years. :)
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2014, 08:40:23 PM »

Another update: Went by plaza today, and it appears H&H Linen Service (aka Express Coin Laundry) closed up. The place was empty. That leaves only Wah-Wah Kitchen (Chinese take out) and Family Dollar remaining on that side of the plaza, which is the older portion. Only three cars were parked in that area, so I'm assuming that they were the employee's vehicles at Family Dollar and maybe the Chinese restaurant, so I assume neither establishment was getting any business. There are now 6 spots to fill. There is plenty of room for a grocery store. I'm wondering what will become of Family Dollar.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2014, 06:43:37 AM »

Another update: Went by plaza today, and it appears H&H Linen Service (aka Express Coin Laundry) closed up. The place was empty. That leaves only Wah-Wah Kitchen (Chinese take out) and Family Dollar remaining on that side of the plaza, which is the older portion. Only three cars were parked in that area, so I'm assuming that they were the employee's vehicles at Family Dollar and maybe the Chinese restaurant, so I assume neither establishment was getting any business. There are now 6 spots to fill. There is plenty of room for a grocery store. I'm wondering what will become of Family Dollar.

I was meaning to ask you something. What is the deal with the space H&H Linen was located in anyway? On the real estate company's website (see the link in one of my previous posts it shows Space B as H&H Linen and it shows Space B as divided in three with dotted lines with one arrow pointing to Space A nothing in the middle and then another arrow point to Space C - the Chinese Restaurant.
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2014, 08:06:03 AM »

Another update: Went by plaza today, and it appears H&H Linen Service (aka Express Coin Laundry) closed up. The place was empty. That leaves only Wah-Wah Kitchen (Chinese take out) and Family Dollar remaining on that side of the plaza, which is the older portion. Only three cars were parked in that area, so I'm assuming that they were the employee's vehicles at Family Dollar and maybe the Chinese restaurant, so I assume neither establishment was getting any business. There are now 6 spots to fill. There is plenty of room for a grocery store. I'm wondering what will become of Family Dollar.

I was meaning to ask you something. What is the deal with the space H&H Linen was located in anyway? On the real estate company's website (see the link in one of my previous posts it shows Space B as H&H Linen and it shows Space B as divided in three with dotted lines with one arrow pointing to Space A nothing in the middle and then another arrow point to Space C - the Chinese Restaurant.

I don't really know. Maybe H&H was looking to reduce their space as I don't believe they were using all of their space. I know a Laundromat has always been in that spot for as long as long as I can remember. I think it was called Big D Cleaners. They are now on Farmington Ave. H&H opened maybe a decade ago. Now Space B can either be subdivided or leased as a whole, because H&H just disappeared.
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2014, 10:52:21 AM »

Just for the record, if a ShopRite or another supermarket comparable to the former A&P Foodmart, which was 60,000 sq. ft., it could work. If the grocer took the former Ocean State Job Lot/Billiards Club (22,466 sq. ft.), the boarded up former movie theater (16,000 sq. ft.), and the former Woolworth space (there is no actual square footage available online as the space does not exist as leasable space as of now), I figured it is about 15,000 sq. ft. This in total would add to approx. 53,000 sq. ft. If the existing Family Dollar (7,600 sq. ft.) were to either close or move, then the store may be able to take that space as well, which would total a little over 60,000 sq. ft.
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2015, 03:51:14 PM »

Update: February 28, 2015: The two "pending leases" at Webster Square Shopping Center/Ocean State Plaza have been officially named, via the Northeast Retail website. They are Tandy Leather and Aculer Furniture. I had never heard of them before, but they seem to be existing businesses. I'm not sure if the new Berlin locations will be spin-offs of original locations or replacements for the originals.

Tandy Leather is a distributor of leather products out of Hartford, CT. They will be taking the far left end space at 119 Webster Square, which was the former "Pets For U" pet store which had a fire in 1996 and has remained empty since.

Aculer Furniture appears to be a small furniture and appliance store based out of Middletown, CT. They will be taking space #175, next to Harbor Freight Tools. I have no idea what was ever in this spot. A&P/Foodmart never used it, but extended their façade to this spot. It is next to the Woolworths space which is the "Future Development" area.

I'm very happy to see this good news. Both tenants are set to open by June of this year. I think these are excellent choices for the plaza. It reminds me of the old days of the plaza where small businesses like these existed. It is not just two national chains setting up in a shopping center.

Fingers crossed we can get a grocery store in here. The old Job Lot, movie theater and Woolworths would make a great sized supermarket. Then there would be 4 small spaces to fill, and there is room for a pad site or two.
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« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2015, 07:45:14 PM »

Update: February 28, 2015: The two "pending leases" at Webster Square Shopping Center/Ocean State Plaza have been officially named, via the Northeast Retail website. They are >>Tandy Leather<< and Aculer Furniture. I had never heard of them before, but they seem to be existing businesses. I'm not sure if the new Berlin locations will be spin-offs of original locations or replacements for the originals.

This is actually a really old company, dating back to the early 1900's.  It was the beginning of what became Tandy Corporation, better known for many years for it's electronics division (known by the name Radio Shack).  At one point, they split the company into multiple parts, with Tandy Corporation retaining basically the Radio Shack and things connected to it (like subsidiaries that made electronic items).  The leather portion was sold a number of times, finally (it appears) to a company named Leather Factory, which combined the two names to the current Tandy Leather Factory.
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2015, 08:28:28 PM »

Update: February 28, 2015: The two "pending leases" at Webster Square Shopping Center/Ocean State Plaza have been officially named, via the Northeast Retail website. They are >>Tandy Leather<< and Aculer Furniture. I had never heard of them before, but they seem to be existing businesses. I'm not sure if the new Berlin locations will be spin-offs of original locations or replacements for the originals.

This is actually a really old company, dating back to the early 1900's.  It was the beginning of what became Tandy Corporation, better known for many years for it's electronics division (known by the name Radio Shack).  At one point, they split the company into multiple parts, with Tandy Corporation retaining basically the Radio Shack and things connected to it (like subsidiaries that made electronic items).  The leather portion was sold a number of times, finally (it appears) to a company named Leather Factory, which combined the two names to the current Tandy Leather Factory.

It's nice to see some history on the new tenant and that it is a longstanding business. Hopefully, it will bring some life to the plaza.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2015, 06:56:13 PM »

It's terrific that 2 businesses are moving into the plaza.
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2015, 03:32:08 PM »

I recently discovered an article that was shared on a Facebook page about the opening of the Woolworth's store in Webster Square from 1962. It stated the new store would be 26,000 sq. ft. That (the demolished hole in the middle of the plaza), combined with the 38,000 sq. ft. vacant space from the old Job Lot to the movie theater would make about 64,000 sq. ft. If a supermarket wanted to take up to 60,000 sq. ft. of space, there would still be 4,000 sq. ft. for another tenant to squeeze in next door. 
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2015, 09:18:57 AM »

When JOB LOT bought the plaza did they ever do anything with the pools tables that were left behind from years ago when Berlin Billiard's closed? I also heard several people were owed trophies when they closed.
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2015, 12:29:56 PM »

When JOB LOT bought the plaza did they ever do anything with the pools tables that were left behind from years ago when Berlin Billiard's closed? I also heard several people were owed trophies when they closed.

Well, if you ever see Ocean State offering deals on used pool tables...
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2015, 02:08:46 PM »

Have you ever actually tried to move a pool table?  It's brutal!   Shocked
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2015, 03:03:39 PM »

When JOB LOT bought the plaza did they ever do anything with the pools tables that were left behind from years ago when Berlin Billiard's closed? I also heard several people were owed trophies when they closed.

I have no idea what is going on with that. I assumed the billiards space was empty. All I know is that every time I go down there, 50% of the time, there is a truck by the front of that spot, and sometimes there are people inside the billiards location doing work. This past Wednesday, I went down there, and there were two vehicles backed under the canopy in front of the entrance door and people in both vehicles were sleeping. To me, that spot will always be the produce and floral area of the old Waldbaums Foodmart. Apparently, Ultimate Billiards totally re-did the inside. The doors and windows remain the originals from Foodmart. The exit was originally connected to the Job Lot portion of the space, but I can see the billiards opened up the wall.
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