Danbury bar owner plans ‘nice and quiet’ restaurant on Main Street

DANBURY — The owner of a music venue in the once-thriving downtown entertainment district wants to open a quiet Colombian-style restaurant on Main Street for family outings.

“I have a lot of families who want to go somewhere quieter,” said Manuel Andrade, owner of La Canchita bar and lounge on Delay Street, discussing plans on Monday to open restaurant Tiesto in a vacant storefront in proximity. “It will be a nice place to go for children and for older people where it is quieter.”

The proposed restaurant, which has 62 seats and a full bar on its plans, would be in the same building as La Canchita, but in a space with an entrance on the main street, where a former Mexican restaurant and bakery used to be.

“It didn’t survive COVID,” Andrade said of the former restaurant and bakery at 219 Main St.

Andrade, a businessman who emigrated from Colombia to Danbury when he was 15 and raised his two sons here, says he is confident the new restaurant will succeed in a sluggish post-COVID economy.

“I’ve been here all my life – my two sons were born here,” said Andrade, who worked in construction before becoming a restaurant owner.

Part of his vision for the new restaurant is to offer a full menu of cocktails and “fine drinks”. For this, he will need a café permit from the Zoning Commission in order to serve alcohol. The previous restaurant had a beer and wine license, records show.

A public hearing on the coffee permit is scheduled for the end of October.

La Canchita d’Andrade is part of the once thriving entertainment district of Ives Street, where nightclubs, bars and restaurants drew crowds in the hundreds on weeknights and weekends.

Since the disappearance of nightclubs such as Tuxedo Junction, the area has become mostly dark at night, while west side areas such as Mill Plain Road have become Danbury’s favorite nightlife spot.

Recently, small signs of life have returned to Ives Street. In December, entrepreneurs opened Los Rivera Café at 1 Ives St., for example, and in January the city paved the way for two Danbury businessmen to open a cafe and bar a few buildings away on Ives St.

On the other hand, some city leaders who held out hope that the old Tuxedo Junction could reopen with live entertainment were disappointed in February when the city council voted to sell the old nightclub to a bank. who will demolish it to make way for a bigger office. construction project on Main Street.

The city’s languishing downtown is at the center of a draft master plan for the next 10 years which will go to a public hearing in December. Among the solutions proposed by the master plan, Danbury is to adopt zoning to encourage developers to build a mix of apartments and retail in the Main Street corridor.

Andrade said he was confident in the prospects for his new restaurant.

“It’s a very nice place,” he said. “I have a professional artist working on the walls.”

[email protected] 203-731-3342

About James K. Bonnette

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