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Author Topic: Berlin Turnpike  (Read 4352 times)
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TRU7536
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« on: July 25, 2012, 05:03:20 PM »

i was reading Newington Life and i recommand anyone who's town gets this newspaper to read it. I love it when they talk about history stuff relating to the town.

The Berlin Turnpike first opened in 1949 and it is 11 miles long with four lanes from Meriden to Wethersfield. Its was the primary road from Hartford to New Haven, 20 years before I-91 opened(opened in 1965) . At one point, the pike was named "Gasoline Alley", due to it had over 30 gas stations. Gas stations, motels, and restaurants covered the pike. After I-91 opened, the pike went dead, however the retail boom happened when people realized the convenience of the pike. Here are some facts i got from the article:

1.) Mcdoanlds on the pike was the second one to open (Hamden was the first)

2.) The Walmart plaza was originally a golf course, part of the Grantmore property. Vornado purchased the property in the 1960's (which they still own it). Two Guys opened, which later became Bradlees. Medi-Mart and Greenfield (grocery store) were also in the plaza (where Staples is now). Rickels also was in the plaza, later becoming The Wiz, now part of the Walmart parking lot.

3.) The former Ames building (now Price Chopper), was originally a G.E Madison (GEM) store. Dicks was home to Hechinger store.

Hechinger, Rickels, and Grossman's were all home improvement stores, that all closed after Home Depot opened.

4.) Bowl O Rama opened in 1959 and Olympia dinner opened in 1954. Aslong with Mortensen's, they are still opened bt the same families and seen the pike grow.

5.) One of the first multi-screen theaters in central CT, stood where Lowes is now (it was called Cinema I, II, II).

The article talked about alot of these old motels built during the 1950's will probaly all be gone soon, because they are potential targets for big box companies. The article also talks about how many chain restaurants are showing interest in the few current vacant buildings and parcels left on the pike

Whats coming soon:
Connecticuts first Bonefish Grill (Upscale Fish restaurant) will build on a parcel of land where the Krispie Kreme site is. A 25,000 new plaza will open next to the Toys R US plaza. It will be the home of Bassett Furniture, Chipotle Grill, DiBella's subs, Starbucks, and Chase Bank.

It was a good article.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 05:06:13 PM by TRU7536 » Logged
scottw73
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 08:51:48 PM »

Wasn't Best Buy a former Builders Square?? Also Arby's was a Roy Rogers, plus there is a funky hotel next to Wal-mart
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TRU7536
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 07:18:45 PM »

Wasn't Best Buy a former Builders Square?? Also Arby's was a Roy Rogers, plus there is a funky hotel next to Wal-mart

No it was a former Heartland drug when Heartland supermarket was next door. It was also a Office Depot for a short time before becoming Best Buy.
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JimSawhill
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 01:47:59 PM »

Wasn't Best Buy a former Builders Square?? Also Arby's was a Roy Rogers, plus there is a funky hotel next to Wal-mart

The Funky Hotel is the Grantmoor...The shooping Center where Home Depot, Sam's Club and Syms were... used to be a drive in theater.
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TRU7536
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 11:05:36 AM »

Wasn't Best Buy a former Builders Square?? Also Arby's was a Roy Rogers, plus there is a funky hotel next to Wal-mart

The Funky Hotel is the Grantmoor...The shooping Center where Home Depot, Sam's Club and Syms were... used to be a drive in theater.

So was the Stop & Shop/former Shaws plaza, was a drive in movie theater as well. From what i ahve heard, the drive in movie theater where Home Depot stands, use to play porn as well.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 12:11:54 PM »

From what i ahve heard, the drive in movie theater where Home Depot stands, use to play porn as well.

A lot of drive-ins switched to porn movies before they closed down.
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Bdubs
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2012, 05:31:03 PM »

Is there a restaurant where Hops used to be, or is it still empty?
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 05:59:15 PM »

Is there a restaurant where Hops used to be, or is it still empty?

It's now a mexican restuarant, Plaza Azteca. There is another location in Manchester which is the original one. This is the newest one.
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TRU7536
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 09:07:11 PM »

The Mcdonalds on the Pike orignally opened in 1959.

The Newington site  was one of the 125 sites for the company to do the "1950's Concept" design to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mcdonalds.
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TRU7536
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 02:02:48 PM »

Bassett Furniture will be relocated in May to its new location.
Starbucks, Chipotle and Dibellas are all expected to open in a few weeks.
Chase bank backed out, but the landlord found a credit union to take over and contruction is expected soon.

Boneless Fish is expected to open in July (contruction has begun)

The former Applebees has found a new owner and it isnt a resturaunt.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 07:06:34 AM »

The former 99 became a restaurant called "Fat & Happy." Now it's called "Rival's Sports Bar".
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TRU7536
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 07:02:22 PM »

So the former Apple Bees will become a new relocated corporate Verizon Wireless, which is relocating from across the street.

Chase Bank was suppose to go into the new Gateway Plaza, but backed out. Looks like American Eagle Credit Union will take half of it and the other half, little over 2k sf is for lease.
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TRU7536
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 04:21:58 PM »

I can't believe I posted about ththe Verizon relocation over two years ago. It's finally happening, they are relocating to the former Apple Bees.

I also heard a few more things coming.

Asheley Furniture is moving into th now closed T bowl which closed its doors after 50 years. It's a 44,000 building. Wood N Tap is going to open a new restaurant on the left side of the Raymour and Flannigan building. Also I was reading Chick fli a is set to open in the soon to be vacated Verizon Wireless location.

I think Firestone is built but lawsuits are preventing it to open. autozone also opened on the Pike a month or two ago across from Target.
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AmesNewington
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 08:19:31 AM »

I can't believe I posted about ththe Verizon relocation over two years ago. It's finally happening, they are relocating to the former Apple Bees.

I also heard a few more things coming.

Asheley Furniture is moving into th now closed T bowl which closed its doors after 50 years. It's a 44,000 building. Wood N Tap is going to open a new restaurant on the left side of the Raymour and Flannigan building. Also I was reading Chick fli a is set to open in the soon to be vacated Verizon Wireless location.

I think Firestone is built but lawsuits are preventing it to open. autozone also opened on the Pike a month or two ago across from Target.

With these changes, there are still several vacancies, however, all are small.

-Former Michael's
-Former Planet Fitness (will be a temporary Halloween store this Fall)
-Former Basset Furniture
-Vacant newly built space next to new Michael's in Berlin
-Former soon to be moving Verizon (if Chik-fil-a doesn't come in)
-Former Mobil gas station (largest vacancy)
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