BRISTOL - With Sonic having closed Saturday, residents have weighed in on a Bristol Press poll asking what they would like to see move in.
The highest number of votes, 314, went to “anything but fast food.”
The remainder of the poll options consisted of fast-food chains, with Chick-fil-A coming out on top with 248 votes. Second runner-up, with 188, was Arby’s, which left Bristol in 2013.
As for the also-rans, 86 people said they wanted to see Shake Shack come to the city, while 64 wanted a White Castle, 61 supported Popeyes and 39 people indicated they’d like to see Pizza Hut return.
There had been a Pizza Hut in Bristol for 40 years, first on North Main Street and then in the Bristol Commons plaza. The Bristol Commons Pizza Hut closed in 2016.
Sonic owner/partner Gina Mueller said she closed down the location at 1379 Farmington Ave. Saturday as a result of “changing demographics” and the impact of Route 6 construction. She said the Sonic Corp. felt that there would be better opportunities in other areas, so it was decided to go ahead with a move by the end of 2018.
“We’re looking at the New Milford area, but the exact location is still in the works,” said Mueller. “When we first came to Bristol in 2014 the location was doing really well, but the construction put a dent in us. The declining profits all started with the construction. Between that and the changing demographics, it was like a perfect storm. We decided that it was in our best interest if we put our location in a different area.”
Mueller said that Sonic employees were offered positions at locations in Wallingford, Manchester and Milford. People who bought Sonic gift cards in 2018 will be able to use them at those locations.
As the city continues to try to fill vacant buildings and revive its economy, Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu has said officials will do their best to ensure that the state-run Route 6 project “gets completed as soon as possible.” She acknowledged the impact it has had on local businesses and encouraged residents to do their best to patronize them despite the temporary inconvenience.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.