They’re Paving Paradise in Waterbury and Putting Up a Starbucks
I think it's sad that so many Friendly's Restaurants have permanently closed all over Connecticut. I used to go to the Friendly's on Watertown Ave in Waterbury, the one in Southbury's Heritage Village, and the last one that was in Waterbury on Reidville Drive all the time. Now? I have to travel into Naugatuck, or the Berlin Turnpike, or Queen Street in Southington to get my Friendly's fix.
Well, nothing is permanent, right? I'm all for progress, and that's exactly what's happening in Waterbury right now. I'm sure you've read about the former Betsy Ross Diner being torn down on Wolcott Street, right? If you haven't check out this excellent article by John Murray of The Waterbury Observer.
The building is being razed to make way for a Burger King. Like most of the people that commented in Mr. Murray's article, I spent quite a few nights stumbling into and out of that establishment. I don't necessarily think it's sad that the building is done for, it's basically sat empty for the past few years as the negotiations for the land have been in progress, but the other building that is being torn down in Waterbury now has me a bit more nostalgic.
I spent a lot more time in the former Friendly's on Reidville Drive. I was truly sad when it was shut down. I noticed while I was driving by on 84 last night that the building is in the process of being demolished. Why? There's a new Starbucks on the way.
If you want fast food in Waterbury, you got it. McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, Popeye's, and Taco Bell are scattered all about the city. I honestly think they pale in comparison to the food that Frankie's serves up every day, but there's obviously a market for them.
Now if we can only find a buyer for the former Howard Johnson's site on South Main, c'mon White Castle, Waterbury is waiting for you.
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