WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Longtime West Haven residents are seeing a lot of changes to their city. Austin Anderson said, “Diners around town are going away because of the fast food and the chain restaurants are moving in.”
While some shops and restaurants have moved out, others are moving into the city. Joseph Riccio Jr. with the Department of Planning and Development for the City of West Haven said, “It’s part of the regeneration of economic development we get two that close and five that are opening.” He says it’s sad to see the mom and pop shops and diners leaving.
“I think in this day and age, the competition for the dollar and cutting costs makes it more difficult for mom and pop stores to stay open,” Riccio said.
A-1 Diner on Saw Mill road closed its doors over a year ago and nothing has taken its place. Next to it, some selling points include Starbucks and a new Chipotle and Aspen Dental.
“It’s good food but at the same time you are losing out on your local family diner that you want to go to on Sunday or Saturday morning,” one city resident said.
Charlene Carrette told News 8, “There are a lot of places that are closing and I can’t believe it.” Down the street, some signs that this Pizza Hut may not be here forever has people talking. Carrette said, “I see the sign that it’s closing and it’s like a part of history of West Haven because it has been here for so long.”
City leaders don’t want blighted properties or windows that read space available. They said there are a lot of incentives to opening up shop in West Haven. Riccio Jr. added, “It’s a great location, central location. It’s got two universities.”