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What Would You Like To See In The Center?

Five empty storefronts downtown means exciting possibilities for the Town Center.

Main Street might be feeling a little less busy as of late. This might be attributed to the closing of five Branford Center merchants. In the last month alone, Branford said goodbye to ,  (downtown location),  and Crowning Glory – A Sound Choice at 267 E. Main St. and Cohen's Bagels in Madison are still open. The town will be bidding farwell to  soon (check back tomorrow for an interview with store owner Arabella Higgins). Branford's beloved bagel shop closed following failed lease renewal negotiations; other businesses left for various, personal reasons. 

While it's sad to see many businesses leave town this can also be an exciting time of renewal in the beloved center of town. What sort of businesses are you interested in seeing fill the vacant storefronts? Any businesses that you wouldn't like to see come to town? We want to hear from you! 

sharon heslin August 01, 2012 at 11:13 AM
A book store! I just love the bookstore in the center of Guilford, Breakwater Books!
Leanne August 01, 2012 at 11:50 AM
I second the book store!
Alana Joli Abbott August 01, 2012 at 12:31 PM
I miss having the prenatal and baby store in the center of town. And I definitely miss having a kids' toy store! Of all of the ones that have closed in the last few years, those are the ones I was sorriest to see go. Clearly, though, the market didn't echo my thoughts on the matter. :(
Nicole Ball August 01, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Via e-mail, Sallyann Attianese wrote: "In my block the 1114 -1117 where there is an empty spot that was Sound Choice entertainment store, I would like to see a small shoe/accessories boutique with items that are priced under $100, affordable for the young twenty/thirty something age brackett. I would like to see a mens chic/classic/casual store with trendy looks for the same age bracket so men can look good and get out of just wearing jeans to all occasions. A reading room with "Kindles" attached to tables, very techy, that would also feature new authors/ new books with book signing events. A small health food store featuring nutrient drinks, energy foods/snacks, maybe a Cross Fit franchise food store for all the cross fit, exercise buffs, for a healthy life style. It would have to be something already established or trendy to survive this slow economic client, something that attracts the younger generation, something that can be market through networking/social media outlets that is not just relying on daily foot traffic."
sally ann attianese August 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM
A trendy affordable shoe/accessories boutique for the young twenties/thirties generation; a book store with kindles and new authors/new books signing events monthly, very hi-tech; a men's classy casual trendy store for the younger generation, a health food store like a Cross Fit Franchise food store.
Julie Amann August 01, 2012 at 02:06 PM
COHEN'S!!!!!!!
Steve from SAAC August 01, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Two votes for COHEN'S!!!
Kathy August 01, 2012 at 02:31 PM
A wine and cheese shop, a combo of The Wine Thief and Caseus, so I could walk to it (and maybe Sugar Bakery in Cohens, I hear that they're looking to branch out...)
Kathy August 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
It would also be interesting to know WHY these businesses are closing/leaving the Green.
Nicole Ball August 01, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Via Facebook: Katie Stearns: "The last thing this town needs is yet another stuffy boutique marketed towards the senior citizens that have too much time and too much money on their hands. The town needs something casual, something fresh, like a Jamba Juice. Slap that baby right next to Sound Runner and that thing would be a gold mine! Too bad I'm broke...." Lisa Porriello: "Chipotles."
Rhea E. August 01, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Some sort of pastry shop with more artisinal offerings than the bakery in town currently offers. A cheese shope would be awesome. How about a 'real' legit chocolatier? It would be great to see Cohen's back too. No more Arabella-type places, their prices were ridiculous. While a book store is a nice idea, I think an Atticus-type business would be best...a combo of food and books. Branford Book & Card already has a basic offering of books, and I don't think any of the spaces has enough room for a large-scale book store.
Matt Kelsey August 01, 2012 at 03:14 PM
If we're lucky maybe we can get a nail salon to come to town.
megmcg August 01, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I'd like to see a quality camera shop, something like Milford Photo that prints pictures beautifully. I'd love to see an art supply store like a needlework or quilting shop that encourages people of all ages to try new hobbies with minimal upfront investment. Or a used/new bookstore. Or a specialty cook store. I guess a place where if you buy something you're going to DO something.
Judy Bute August 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM
A good health food store where we could buy small quantities of flour, nuts, grains. I always wind up throwing out leftovers because I don't use it up.
Lourdes Irizarry August 01, 2012 at 04:13 PM
A book store like RJ Julia with a bakery.
Nicole Ball August 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Via Facebook: Matt Kelsey: "Laser tag." Jason Novaco: "How about a hot dog and hamburger place?"
Baileygirl August 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Hotdog & Hamberg would be great! We have Sera Nails Salon which is an excellent in the center for the person looking for one. What we really need is a place like Sephora who also sells Laura Geller.
Bill Fasula August 01, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Dairy Queen.
Greg Nobile August 02, 2012 at 03:41 AM
These comments are giving me too many good ideas! Thanks for such a great conversation everybody.
Rose August 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Dairy Queen or any sort of chain restaurant would be awful for Main Street. Any Main Street shouldn't have fast food. Main Streets should be unique and not full of crappy, run of the mill places. Not to mention the need for parking. If it's going to be a chain though, it should be a Jamba Juice type place - something that won't take away from the great restaurants - and something healthier. We have enough ice cream places, we have enough salons and nail places, and we have enough expensive boutiques that will probably go out of business soon. A bakery isn't a bad idea but I wouldn't want to see Sugar here - the owner is beyond rude. A bookstore not a bad idea but it won't bring people in. A little health food store would be nice. A little boutique type place with lower prices and fun stuff for all ages - bath products, games, cool items - nothing to compete with Totally Awesome Goods, but something along those lines. Something that intrigues people to walk in. A more healthier pizza place would be great with more gourmet type options. Anything that gets placed here should not take away from the current businesses that are doing well. Branford should be about supporting each other.
Jackie August 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I think a bookstore is a great idea. I was thinking a second hand book shop. With comfy seating and baked goods.
Jimspins September 04, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I would hardly call 5 empty storefronts exciting....I'd call it Bridgeport
Martha Bradshaw December 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM
YES!
Martha Bradshaw December 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Ditto!
Martha Bradshaw December 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I would like to see fewer nail salons.

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