The demolition crew is out and taking down the Federal Road building that once housed the Brookfield restaurant J. Ramen.

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The Restaurant has sat empty for some time with it's fate sealed, it was going to become rubble in the name of a state project on Federal Road in Brookfield.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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So what's the deal? Is it being taken down to make way for a new building? Will it be a parking lot? No, the building is coming down as part of a State of Connecticut project that is setting out to address congestion and safety issues on that portion of Federal Road.

Last week (12/15/21), we spoke with Brookfield Economic Development Director Greg Dembowski to get all the details on the project and he told us the following:

  • Congestion and automobile accidents are the reason for the project.
  • The plan began with an idea and a study in 2015.
  • Brookfield officials are asking motorists to take extra caution during the project because survey workers will be on the side of the road.
  • While demolition is taking place now, the real construction portion will begin in Spring of '22 and is projected to last a year and a half.
  • The last estimate that Dembowski saw, listed the cost of this project to be over $8 million for the State of CT.
  • The improvements will span 5300 feet of roadway on Federal Road, from BJ's to the shopping plaza at 317 Federal Road and 800 feet on Old New Milford Road.
Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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If you want more details read/listen to our entire interview with Greg Dembowski here.

I've had my eye on this project for quite awhile. When I heard that the State was going to demolish the J. Ramen building, I thought it was peculiar. The restaurant itself was not there long, but that time period was also, not that long ago.

In other words, were the people who ran J. Ramen told that the State of CT intended to take the land? Why would a restaurant open shop, make a ton of renovations and put their best foot forward knowing that Connecticut was going to take it?

When we spoke to former Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn in June of 2021, I asked him if the landlord rented the space to the J. Ramen restaurateurs knowing that the State of CT had intended to take the land for this project. Below is a transcript of a portion of that conversation with Dunn.

Lou Milano: So my question is, then did J. Ramen know this, because they moved in after the state, or you and the state started this narrative, they moved in with the intention of doing business. COVID put them out of business, so what did Ramen House (J. Ramen) know about the State taking their land basically, not their land but where they meant to do business?

Steve Dunn: Yeah, so my understanding is the property was still owned by some people and the Ramen House (J. Ramen) people rented it. Right? Leased it from them and they did significant work inside. You know, a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of work. And then the State came up and said hey we're going to take this property. I do not know if the Ramen House (J. Ramen) knew that the State was going to do that. Everyone else was pretty aware of it.

Lou Milano: So, I'm glad. This is the answer that I wanted, I wanted it to not be your fault, and I also want to blame someone. I'm gonna get the state, ya know? If we find out that Ramen did not know that the state was going to take this property, that's wildly unfair.

Steve Dunn: I agree.

Lou Milano: Awesome, this worked out great.

Steve Dunn: If it's true that the people who own the property knew that the State was going to take it over and Ramen House (J. Ramen) came and did $200,000, whatever it was worth of work and they didn't tell them ahead of time, I would think they have a civil case.

If you want more of that interview with Steve Dunn, you can listen to/read it all here.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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Vacant Brookfield Properties Give Me the Creeps

Brookfield Connecticut is a beautiful New England town with picturesque landscapes and architecture. It does have one section of road that is about a mile long, that time has forgotten. When the highway got extended, the life started to drain from this portion of Federal Road and COVID-19 put the finishing touches on any business that was hanging on for dear life. There are supposed to be people in these places, that's why they were made. The absence of humanity in these spaces makes them tragic and chilling.

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