December 1, 2021

Decision Pending on Proposed Downtown Chester Pizza Restaurant

CHESTER— The planning and zoning commission has closed the public hearing on a special permit application for a new pizza restaurant at 69 Main St. in the downtown village. In other business at the Aug. 8 meeting, the panel approved a special permit for a newly constructed seasonal restaurant at the 72 Railroad Avenue property of the Chester Point Marina.

The proposed new pizza restaurant would be run by Jonathan Rapp, owner of the River Tavern restaurant at 23 Main St. The three-story building at 69 Main St. is owned by local resident Jonathan Schroder, who purchased the property from the town several years ago. The town had purchased the property, which abuts the former town hall site, in the 1990s for a planned expansion of town hall in the downtown village that was later abandoned in favor of the current town hall at 203 Middlesex Avenue (Route 154).

The proposed 35-seat restaurant would serve pizza, salads, gelato, and beer, with seasonal outdoor seating. The restaurant hours would be daily from 5 to 11 p.m. The proposed restaurant drew questions, but little specific opposition, at the Aug. 8 hearing.

But one nearby resident, Jean Davies of 73 Main St., opposed the application. She called on the commission to limit outdoor seating and take-out service for the pizza. The commission has until early October to act on the permit application, with discussion expected at the panel’s Sept. 12 meeting.

The commission also approved the new seasonal restaurant at the Chester Point Marina that was the subject of a public hearing in July. The restaurant, which would operate from April to October, would be part of a new 5,561-square-foot building. About 2,650 square-feet would be restaurant space, with the remainder containing marina offices and a display area. An existing building that also had a seasonal restaurant would be demolished. The marina on the Connecticut River contains docking slips for 135 boats.