New Danielson restaurant fits in with town's economic plans

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Feb. 24, 2014
A new restaurant in this block will hopefully boost the attraction of Killingly's Main Street area. Photo by D. Coffey.
A new restaurant in this block will hopefully boost the attraction of Killingly's Main Street area. Photo by D. Coffey.

If all goes according to plan, Keith Oatley will open the door to his Kicker’s Sports Café and Restaurant in Danielson in early March. He and town officials, as well as area business owners, hope the opening will spark a renewal on the town’s Main Street. It’s an effort that members of the Killingly Business Association have been working for, and one that officials would welcome with open arms.

Kicker’s takes over where Times Square Café left off. Oatley plans a lot for the new venue. The family-style restaurant will offer lunch and dinner menus and delivery service to downtown businesses. He hopes to eventually add banquet facilities.

Kicker’s location in the Central Business District is a boon for the town. Town Council Chairman John Hallbergh was happy to hear a family-oriented restaurant would fill a vacant building downtown. “I think it’s great. We need restaurants downtown,” he said. “That’s part of what will help other things come into the downtown area.”

Expanding current and future commercial activity in the central business district is one of the top priorities for the current town council. In a resolution dated Feb. 11, council members agreed that expanding economic development opportunities in town was their most important goal.

Killingly Economic Development Director Elsie Bissett said a restaurant would contribute to what she called a diverse downtown. “It will add to the mix of businesses we already have,” she said. “We’re hoping it will contribute to the attractiveness of downtown.”

Killingly stands to benefit from a streetscape project that is part of the state’s Main Street Investment Fund. Sewer line construction will need to be completed before work on new sidewalks, bike racks, planters and lower level lighting is begun. The work will give the Main Street a cozy feel, said Bissett.

But that work will have to wait until the borough hands over sidewalk jurisdiction to the town council. “It’s an odd situation,” Hallbergh said. The town won’t be able to receive grant money until then.

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