By Lisa Capobianco
Southington will soon welcome an upscale dining and entertainment center, bringing more jobs to town.
Don Millard, the owner of the building on 240 Spring Street, has planned to turn the 33,000 square foot facility into a combined Bocce court and bowling alley, along with a bistro and bar. The facility, located in front of Pilgrim Furniture City, once housed a warehouse and was vacant for two years, said Millard.
Millard received approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission back in November.
“The world has changed a lot from industrial to the service world,” said Millard, adding that he worked in the industrial field for many years. “We’re trying to go along with the change.”
Under the name “Crystal Bees,” the business will feature a bistro called “Glass Hat Bistro,” and a full bar called “Dante’s Bar,” which will serve 16 beers as well as wine and liquors. The bowling alley will be called “Crystal Bowl.” According to the design plan, there will be a total of 16 bowling lanes and two Bocce courts as well as an electronic games plaza equipped with pool tables and Shuffleboard. The plan also includes 140 outdoor parking areas,
Individuals and businesses will also have the opportunity to use the facility as rental space for private parties. Once Crystal Bees is up and running, it is expected to bring between 40 and 50 jobs.
Millard said he expects the project to be finished this fall, and hopes to have construction start within 60 days.
“It will give employment to a lot of people and will give high-quality recreation to a lot of people,” said Millard, adding that the town has shown support for the project.
Planning and Zoning Chairman Mike DelSanto said the commission feels excited to see this type of business opening in Southington, as residents and non-residents may notice other businesses while visiting Crystal Bees.
“This type of business also falls in line to further enhance us in becoming a premier ‘recreation destination location,’ said DelSanto. “With Lake Compounce and their new campground, this bowling center could be a fun place a family on vacation could enjoy after a day at the park.”
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