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RIP Maxwell’s

Cross post from HatCityBLOG

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I was planning on writing on what I learned regarding the whole Maxwell’s closing situation but Mark Langlois at the Danbury Patch pretty much nailed it.

Maxwell’s Sports Bar and Grill closed at 1 Ives St., last week and sometime between midnight on March 24 and 1:27 p.m. March 25, someone stole 14 TVs, liquor, three kegs of beer and two video games.

“They were carefully removed,” said Capt. Thomas Wendel, spokesman for the Danbury Police Department. “None of the wires were severed.”

Wendel also said there was no sign of forced entry into the downtown eatery.

This isn’t good news for Ives Street, said Victor Aravena, who opened the Alley Way Diner, 14 Ives St., in 2006.

“I’ve seen three pizza restaurants come and go and nine other places come and go out,” Aravena said. “We’re getting Sonic, but the heart of Danbury is slowly dying. It used to be a destination.”

Ives Street has been in a tailspin since the mayor’s office placed new restrictions on establishments on the street once known as a popular entertainment destination.

Wendel also said there was no sign of forced entry into the downtown eatery.

This isn’t good news for Ives Street, said Victor Aravena, who opened the Alley Way Diner, 14 Ives St., in 2006.

“I’ve seen three pizza restaurants come and go and nine other places come and go out,” Aravena said. “We’re getting Sonic, but the heart of Danbury is slowly dying. It used to be a destination.”

[…]

One of the numerous changes Danbury is considering involves the ordinance that says a restaurant is a business that makes most of its money from food, while a nightclub makes most of its money from liquor. The city limited the number of nightclubs allowed. (So business owners sought restaurant liquor licenses, but served little or no food, the city argued.) Now the city is struggling to find a balance. In the economic downturn, the city ordinance seems to be getting in the way of business.

“Something drastic has to happen,” Aravena said.

It may not sound drastic, but the city is preparing a downtown plan that will look at this issue and other downtown issues with the goal of improving downtown Danbury.

“We’re evaluating the whole issue of night clubs and the food and beverage mixture,” said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. “We want to encourage full-blown development. We may be loosening the regulations.”

Andrea Gartner, executive director of CityCenter Danbury, said Danbury has to rediscover its heart.

“The downtown contributes to the wellness and health of the region,” Gartner said.

Make sure to read the entire piece at the Patch. The article provides a good history on the chain of events that resulted with the increase of entertainment establishments along Mill Plain Road in the last 5 years.