Scaffolding, trucks and construction equipment dot the landscape providing evidence of economic growth. Whether you’re excited at the prospect of easier access to your favorite restaurant, a new home, or a kayak launch, here is an update of what’s happening in Mystic.
A brand new Central Hall has risen in downtown Mystic after burning down in 2000. A beautiful 3-story building is emerging with retail space at ground level and 4 condominiums on the 2nd and 3rd floors. FatFace clothing from the UK, one of the new tenants, is now open.
Bravo Bravo built a restaurant directly across from their hugely popular Northern Italian restaurant. The new location, now open, has 76 seats inside, 24 outside, and 24 parking spaces. The remaining building will have 3 apartments located on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
Mystic River Boathouse Park is a dream for anyone who wants access to the Mystic River for kayaking, rowing, or an idyllic view. Existing dilapidated buildings which were renovated after the 1938 hurricane will be replaced with a 2-story boathouse which will house the Stonington High School crew team and the Stonington Community Rowing Center. Site work, building and parking spaces are expected to be completed in 2020.
Soup lovers rejoice! Mystic Soup Company is opening a location in Mystic River Park in the former Biologic juice shop.
Olde Mistick Village is modernizing their bathrooms and at a future date a new, unnamed restaurant will be opening in the location previously occupied by the Southern Exposure store. Just across Coogan Blvd. from Olde Mistick Village, a new Mexican restaurant, Rio Salado, is surplanting the former BoatHouse in Spring/Summer 2019, an endeavor spearheaded by the creators of Jealous Monk.
Perkins Farm is rising up across from StoneRidge retirement community beginning with a 121 unit apartment complex already under construction. Also approved are 50 townhouse condos and a much-needed 47,000 square foot medical building which was developed to meet the needs of seniors. All buildings are set back from Jerry Brown Rd. to maintain the quiet residential feel of the neighborhood.
Seaport Marine is demolishing acres of older marine services buildings on the prime downtown real estate of the Mystic River. In its place and adjacent to the popular Red 36 restaurant will emerge a second restaurant, 45-room hotel, and over 40 apartments, condos, and single-family homes. 300+ parking spaces and a public boardwalk adjacent to the river will greatly improve accessibility, and convenience for locals and visitors alike. Sea walls will be hardened to prevent flooding of Cottrell Street at no cost to the town. There is talk of providing an inviting walking path directly from the train station through this property to downtown Mystic.
SIFT bakery is expanding its existing building to 5000 square feet to create 160 seats inside and outside. An expanded menu, limited liquor license and wrap-around porch add to the number of people who enjoy this sweet treasure. Mid to late May is the anticipated completion date but there will be limited interruptions in service for those who visit frequently.
Since 2015, Whaler’s Inn has renovated all 47 guestrooms and common areas with the final renovations underway on the first floor of the Main Inn, site of the former lobby and breakfast area and Bravo Bravo location. This space is being renovated to include a meeting space and library for guests. Whaler’s Inn looks forward to expanding and providing the same high level of hospitality to their guests, visitors to Mystic, and local residents in this new space.
On a nautical footnote, repairs to South Pier are currently under way to protect Stonington Harbor and waterfront properties. The breakwater is also scheduled for repair by the same contractor. I’m grateful for protection of the waterways used extensively by boaters, sport fishermen, and Connecticut’s only remaining commercial fishing fleet.
Mystic is a charming village comprised of two shoreline towns with a single goal of providing an enjoyable environment for locals and visitors alike. Culinary tourism is the future of Mystic and spurs much of the growth and change. May we all enjoy the results of those who invest in our community.