Two Downtown Ansonia Restaurants Close

PHOTO: Ethan FryTwo downtown Ansonia eateries have closed down in the last three weeks.

Lanza’s Restaurant and Capri Lounge on East Main Street, which opened in 2009, was evicted by its landlord last week for not paying rent.

Nearby on Main Street, Millie’s II Luncheonette, which opened in 2004, closed because its lease expired as of Oct. 1.

The owner of Millie’s, Bo Kolakowski, said Tuesday that his lease ran out in July and he couldn’t negotiate an extension with a church next door to him that owns the building.

“It was a question of (higher) rent and all the extras,” he said. “Expenses became too high.”

Millie’s had a stable of loyal customers, but Kolakowski said walk-in traffic took a “50 to 60 percent” hit because of the utility work being done on Main Street over the summer.

Kolakowski said he doesn’t think he’ll look for a new location.

“I’ve got to look for a job,” he said.

Still, he remained philosophical.

“What are you going to do?” Kolakowski said. “That’s life.”

PHOTO: Ethan FryAt Lanza’s, a bright orange marshal’s notice of eviction is taped to the door of the business.

In April the limited liability company that owns the building filed papers at Superior Court in Derby saying the business had been late paying its $3,000-a-month rent.

In June lawyers representing both parties negotiated a “stipulated agreement” whereby the business would pay increased rent through January 2013, but the business was never able to pay the first installment.

The business’ owners thanked customers via the restaurant’s Facebook Saturday.

“Thank you to all that supported Lanza,” the post reads. “In the past 3 years we have met a lot of wonderful people . . . have had some wonderful bands . . . Some awesome entertainers . . . And some wonderful times we will never forget . . . Words can’t express the gratitude to the ones that helped us fulfill 3 wonderful years . . .Hope to see many in the near future in the next chapter of our lives . . .”

The post attracted 49 “likes” and a host of comments from customers.

“So sorry to hear of this . . . you guys were wonderful and the food was just awesome,” said Mary Deming.

“We are so sad,” said Robin Everlith Caldarola. “We went to Lanza’s every Friday night for the past two years for dinner. Last Friday we celebrated my daughter’s birthday. If we only new it would be are last meal there we would have ordered double!”

Vinnie Scarlata, the chairman of the city’s Economic Development Commission, said he’s disappointed by the news of the closings but hoped other businesses will replace them soon.

“Bo had a steady business of regular customers,” Scarlata said of Millie’s. “When you have loyal customers like that, it’s perfect. There’s just so much you can do.”

He said he’s heard rumors that the church that owns the building might be looking to expand into the space formerly owned by Millie’s, but no solid plans have been presented. A message seeking comment was left at the church, Iglesia Cristiana Rosa De Saron, Tuesday afternoon.

Scarlata said he was sorry to hear about Lanza’s fate.

“They were good partners in the city with us, we’re sad to see them go,” he said. “They did add a nice flair our city’s restaurant district, so it’s a little disappointing to see them close up. We’d like to see somebody with just as much spark come in to liven up downtown.”


posted by: Jeff Gould on October 17, 2012  11:43am

Not to offend anyone’s religious believes, but do we really need to have a church right smack in the middle of Main St.

posted by: Roger Vanderbuilt on October 17, 2012  12:28pm

What is going on in the old town I had so many memories in from the past.
Reading current events from the cities archive pages and the comments from today’s resident reflecting 1st hand interaction in the town, we as readers wonder who is managing or mayor of the town. Is it still Mayor DellaVolpe from the years past?  It would appear his position is a part time Mayoral pay position reflecting the consistent decline in his economic track record. Should the bleeding stop with a full time position?  I would have to question his ability in this area if he ever wanted to work for my company. Counter reacting today’s economic challenges is paramount prior to the first sight or smell of trouble within your business structure or city.
Another troubled sign with the need for proper business alignment, Millie’s Restaurant was leasing from an adjacent church on Ansonia’s Main Street. What are churches doing setting up shop on Main Street in the midst of a business district? Is it a sign of hope through an economic director approving such an alignment for the sole purpose to collect needed tax dollars out of desperation? I thought churches were exempt from taxes. Catching up on other Ansonia resident comments and GOOGLE Earth mapping Ansonia’s Demographic downtown surroundings one could see the ROAD Block in curb appeal for business attraction. Ansonia has unfavorable looking factory buildings in its northern sector of Main Street I knew as the Farrell Corp. and American Brass from years back. It appears some much needed green-scape is needed in those areas by way of special government programs. Reading things from inside informants the Mayor of Ansonia is about to get buried deeper into his positional role due to Farrell and other business who departed in the past left Ansonia for better working conditions in other cities. You need a full time Business Development director immediately who can assess current conditions and rebuild everything that is wrong prior to inviting business tenants. It is simple, scrape the exterior chips falling off your home so the much needed paint will adhere correctly to the surface. You will then have a better looking and performing exterior image.
It is truly sad to see so much blight in the center of my previous old home town. Can it be the point of no return?