This is a review from the Fairfield Daily Voice published April 6, 2011. Click here to see the original article »
George Chatzopoulos knows that a good businessman listens to his customers. So when he heard repeated requests from visitors to Chip’s Family Restaurant in Orange to open a second location down the coast, he thought it might be a good idea. And when he found a new space in a key Fairfield location — at the corner of Tunxis Hill Cutoff and Black Rock Turnpike — he decided to bring “The Best Pancakes Around” to Fairfield.
“They always ask me, ‘When are you going to come to Fairfield?’ ” Chatzopoulos says of customers who make the 20-mile drive to Orange for his food. “We looked at a couple of sites … and we found the right place.”
Fairfield’s business districts will undergo significant changes in the next few months. By the end of May, two of the town’s largest chain stores, in two of the town’s most prominent retail locations, will be gone — Blockbuster Video on Tunxis Hill Cutoff and Borders Books and Music on the Post Road.
Blockbuster had its final closing sale last month, getting rid of everything from its stock of DVDs to the shelves used to display them. Borders is doing the same now, selling off its stock for discounts of between 20 and 40 percent. The Fairfield Center bookstore is due to close by the end of May.
But the two large retail spaces will not be empty for long. Chatzopoulos, his father, Dennis, and his sister Dina Bajko have already won approval from the Plan and Zoning Commission to move into Blockbuster’s old space. They started renovations last week and expect to open their second Chip’s location by September at the latest.
As for Borders’ two-story space in Fairfield Center, that location’s future is uncertain now. But it should also find a buyer quickly. Mark Campbell of Kleban Property Management, which owns the building, said he’s currently negotiating with potential clients and could not reveal many details. “But there is a lot of interest,” Campbell said. “It’s prime real estate in Fairfield.”
Another question is how many new stores will take Borders’ place. The store now provides 24,120 square feet over two floors. Some think Kleban may split up the space into as many as four separate stores, though Campbell could not say for sure. “There are pros and cons to splitting it up,” he said. “We’d prefer to have it in one piece.”