Welcome Risers! This is our retail recruitment page. After many months of hard work and polling Bristol Rising members have identified tons of great retail businesses they would love to have in the new downtown Bristol.
Now, it’s time to strap up and recruit our favorites to see if they’re interested in coming downtown! If they are, pass them onto Jessica Adams: Jessica@bristolrising.com, who’ll know what to do with them.
Download the Retail Packet to give to Retailers
The end goal is to acquire a total of 20 LOI’s (letters of interest), which are basically non-binding letters of expression which states that a retailer is interested in downtown and may like to sign a lease when the time comes. We figure of the 20 LOI’s, 5-7 might actually sign pre-leases. How does this help the project? The more LOI’s we obtain, and more spaces pre-leased, the stronger argument we make to obtain top dollar financing to bring to life the vision you and I have dreamed for downtown.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for more info on this page, the purpose, your role, and the result.
*One of the interested parties does not wish to disclose their identity at this time.
Black: No one is pitching that spot yet. Take the reigns!
Red: Someone is pitching that spot at the moment
Yellow: The business is interested but not quite there yet – a follow up is necessary
Green: We’ve got a Letter of Interest!
St rike d : The business is not interested at this time
Arts & Entertainment
Performing Arts center (332 likes), Live Music Venue (255 likes),Small Movie Theater (201 likes), Dinner and Drinks Theater (190 likes), Bristol’s Own Downtown Art Gallery (124 likes), Comedy Club (118 likes), Indoor Go-kart Facility (55 likes), Multi-Purpose Event Center (48 likes), Glass-blowing Studio (40 likes), Paint your own Pottery Shop (37 likes)
Red Barn Movie House, Bantam
St rike d :Real Art Ways, Hartford – taken by Tom Lagasse
Infinity Music Hall, Norfolk – taken by Michele
Gilson Cafe Cinema, Winsted– taken by Tom Lagasse
Art Truck– taken by Ali
Chips Pub III, Clinton– taken by Fred & Joanne
Buffalo Wild Wings, Danbury– taken by Derek C. and Ken C.
Bin 228 (wine bar), Hartford– taken by Noreen
City Steam, Hartford
Cuvee, W. Hartford
Wood n’ Tap, Southington– taken by Dave Mills
First and Last Tavern, Plainville– taken by Dave Mills
Barcelona, W. Hartford
Olive Bar, Unionville– taken by RD
Food Themed Establishments
Restaurant Row (225 likes), Riverside Cafe (109 likes), 50’s Diner (71 likes),Ice Cream Parlor with Jukebox (55 likes), Raw Bar/Seafood Restaurant (36 likes), Fondue Restaurant (21 likes)
Max a Mia, Avon– taken by Kim V
Straight from Maine Seafood, Bristol– taken by Dave H
Funky Monkey Cafe & Gallery, Cheshire– taken by Kristie
Texas Road House, Manchester
d Corey’s Catsup & Mustard, Manchester– taken by Tanya
d Pastrami on Wry, Manchester– taken by Tanya
Capitol Lunch, New Britain
Crepes & Corks — Gina
d Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Newington
Smokin with Chris, Plainville– taken by Andy
Mooyah Burgers , Simsbury
Maggie McFlys, Southbury– taken by Fred & Joanne
Chute Gates Steakhouse & Saloon, Terryville– taken by Noreen
Crabby Al’s, Thomaston– taken by Fred & Joanne
Bills Seafood, Westbrook– taken by Fred & Joanne
Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, Westbrook/Madison– taken by Fred & Joanne
Pinkberry, W. Hartford
Max Burger, W. Hartford– taken by Kim V
Counter Burger, W. Hartford– taken by Ali
Plan B Burger Bar, W. Hartford– taken by Dave H
Matthews Restaurant, Unionville– taken by Fred & Joanne
Fondue Restaurant (have real local name?)
50’s themed resaurant (have real name?)
Diner (have real local name?)
Smoothie/ Juice Shop (have a real local name?)
J. Gilbert’s– taken by Derek C.
Burton’s Grill– taken by Derek C.
Cultural Themed Restaurants
Vegan/Organic Restaurant (97 likes), Indian Restaurant (45 likes), Sushi Go Round (44 likes), Italian Family Restaurant (41), Polish Restaurant (40 likes), Mediterranean Restaurant (32 likes), Asian Bistro (31 likes)
Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Bristol
Latino’s, Bristol– taken by Dave H
Joey Garlic’s, Farmington
Coyote Blue, Higganum– taken by Fred & Joanne
d It’s Only Natural Vegetarian Restaurant, Middletown– taken by Mark
Forbidden City & Art Gallery, Middletown– taken by Fred & Joanne
Puerto Vallerta, Newington
Sushi Red, Plainville– taken by Michele B
Somewhere in Bangkok, Southington
Julio’s Woodfire Pizza, Southbury– taken by Dave H
Staropolska, New Britain– taken by Mark
Chipotle Grill, W. Hartford
Ginza Sushi, Wethersfield
El Sombrero, Southington– taken by Kristie
Kathy Faber, Bristol– taken by Kristie
White House Black Market, Canton
St rike d LuLu Lemon Athletic Wear, Farmington– taken by Ali
Flutterby, Guilford– taken by Fred & Joanne
Charming Charlie’s, Manchester– taken by Andy
Stonewall Kitchens, Manchester– taken by Andy
The Book Bower, Middletown
Trendz On Main, Middletown
Tina’s Fine Lingerie, Middletown
d Echo Trading Co., Middletown
Ladybug Boutique, Middletown
Atticus Bookstore Café, New Haven
Book Trader Café, New Haven
Music Shop, Southington
Marie’s Country Furnishings, Southbury– taken by Fred & Joanne
Annie Mame– taken by Mark
Department store (have real name?)
Women’s shoes (have real name?)
Arts Supply Store (have real local name?)
Electronic Store (have real name?)
DSW, Plainville– taken by Maureen Paradis
Famous Footwear, Plainville– taken by Maureen Paradis
Men’s Wearhouse, Simsbury– taken by Derek C.
Jos. A Bank, Canton– taken by Derek C.
Ramani’s– taken by Derek C.
Izod– taken by Derek C.
Nautica– taken by Derek C.
d Polo– taken by Derek C.
Hilfiger– taken by Derek C.
d Middlebury Consignment Furniture, Middlebury
Verizon Wireless, Bristol– taken by Dave H.
Whole Foods, W. Hartford
Trader Joe’s, W. Hartford
Bristol co-op entrepreneur, Bristol (unidentified yet)
Savvy Tea Gourmet, Madison
Seasons at the Green, Manchester
The New England Emporium, Middletown
Zanger’s Polish Pottery, Suffield– taken by Susan
d Shock n’ Awe, Waterbury
Penzeys Spices, W. Hartford– taken by Ali
Cheese Shop (Unidentified. Suggest one!)
d A Bead of Roses, Newtown– taken by Sarah R
Blue Moon Gifts, West Hartford– taken by Andy
Bantam Bread Bakery, Bantam
Flatbread Company, Canton
Sugarbelle Cupcakes, Glastonbury
The Village Chocolatier, Guilford
Cilantro Coffee Roasters Café, Guilford– taken by Fred & Joanne
Atlanta Bread Company, Manchester– taken by RD
NoRa Cupcake Company, Middletown
Tschudin Chocolates, Middletown
Liquid Lunch, Milford
Mozzicato Bakery, Plainville– taken by Jess Griffin
Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe, Ridgefield
American Artisan Food & Bakery, Sandy Hook
Frosted Couture, Southington
Lizzy B’s Sweet Celebrations, Wallingford
Cosi’s, W. Hartford
d Just a Little Something, Bristol– taken by RD
Cafe Del Mundo, Southington– taken by Kristie
Active & Miscellaneous Locales
Yoga center (75 likes), Rock Climbing Gym (50 likes), Outdoor/Indoor Tennis Courts (33 likes), Year-Round Swimming Pool (28 likes), Spin Class/Cycling (9 likes), Extreme Sports and Wellness Center (2 likes)
ESPN Store/Zone– taken by Derek C.
Lucky Strike, Plainville
Jump Zone, Waterbury– taken by Jess Griffin
Yoga Studio (have real name?)
Kind Hearts Massage, Bristol– taken by Dave H
The Purpose of this page is that it functions as an open contract. There are an awful lot of suggestions for places that people would love to see downtown Bristol versions of… but the reality is only a handful of businesses are in appropriate stage of their business lives where they are ready to open another location. We need to find out who is ready and willing to talk shop.
Your Role is to look over this list to see if any places resonate with you that you would like to help recruit downtown. The goal is for you to let us know where you plan on visiting via the comments section below, visit the locations you like and let them know the cool things that are happening in Bristol and seeing if they are open to the prospects of opening a complimentary location downtown. Then you can report back on how the visit went and what thebusiness owner said about coming downtown in the comments section below. This way we have a transparent and open commentary on the recruitment process and will label the status of each business’ interest.
The Result of your involvement is huge. As you can see this list is massive, so it would be tremendously helpful if Risers were the first wave of recruitment to gauge a business owner’s interest. On the flip side, you might visit a place and discover it’s not even worth recruiting that place downtown. If a business owner sees the value of what we’re building and might want to come downtown, let us know as Renaissance has agreed to meet with any business owners who are interested in coming downtown. So let’s get after it, Risers!
Please add to the list of retail-to-recruit via the comments section below (which we will then post into the body of the page ) with the types of businesses that would inspire you to come downtown, or feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
**We would also like to address a topic that has come up several times regarding national chain stores like Christmas Tree Shop, because some people suggested we recruit them so we want to make sure everyone is fully aware of why it is unlikely those types of stores would work downtown. Because downtown Bristol is zoned for mixed uses and recreating a vibrant “Main Street America” downtown, “big box” stores like a Kohl’s or Christmas Tree Shop do not adhere to the zoning enacted by the City and the vision for a triple bottom line environment supported by Bristol Rising. The reality is when places like Christmas Tree Shop and restaurants like Olive Garden are looking at locating in cities of Bristol’s size they typically look to build in a single-use format, which means they locate a large lot, and put their building in the middle of a sea of parking right off a highway exit or in a Route 6 environment, which is obviously not the environment we are looking to create downtown. Because of those requirements and circumstances, nationals like CTS typically don’t make sense downtown nor would they consider it. If they look to build in an urban format it’s usually to be in tier one cities such as New York or Boston. That’s not to say this is the case for all chains, but it is typically true for big box or small box nationals.