From Bennigan’s to New Beginnings: 7-Eleven Finally Replaces Long-Time Danbury Eyesore
The brand new, long-anticipated, 7-Eleven on Federal Road is open for business and the city of Danbury is better for it.
It wasn't too long ago that this location was a run-down, long-vacant Bennigan’s restaurant, and for whatever reason, it was a place I’d become fixated on. The same goes for many area residents, as the old decrepit building and its overgrown lot had become a gathering point for criminal activity and was an eyesore.
We’d talk about it often on the Ethan and Lou Show, and I’d joke I was going to buy the property and open a restaurant called “Begin-Again’s.” I published an article about Danbury’s zombie properties with the empty Bennigan’s as the centerpiece, and when it was finally demolished, I was there to see it.
Now, there is new life at the location, thanks to hard work from city officials and local businesspeople. Bringing businesses into any city is challenging and requires the work of many individuals and departments. There are a ton of unsung heroes behind this revitalized site.
Finally, on Friday (Feb. 11), the ribbon was set to be cut and Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito was there, with scissors in hand. Esposito talked about how important of a moment this is, saying, “This reminds me, as a young fella when the Danbury Fair would open its doors that day, it’s so exciting. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining on us, to bring this new business to Danbury. I want to thank each and every one of those mentioned for all the efforts they put forth to get this done at a good time to give the citizens of Danbury and Greater Danbury an awesome place to fuel up, buy products, and have some really good tacos."
"So, it’s my honor to be here today, you know, this is something I’ve been getting to do quite a bit lately, cutting ribbons here in the city of Danbury," he continued. "As you know, the city of Danbury is the shining star of Connecticut, and I might be a little bit biased on that, but we know by the facts, that Danbury is the place to be. Danbury is the place to open a business, and I want to thank each and every one of you, especially those decision-makers that came here to a pretty rough site. As Danburians know, for a while, the building that was here, we were having a tough time with. Look at it today, it’s a beautiful, beautiful building.”
All that mayor Esposito is certainly true, especially in regards to the building and the site. It has come a long way, just look at the condition of the site in May of 2020:
It was a hellhole, back, and front:
This ribbon-cutting is a sign of the turning tides for a city that has become one of the most desirable in America for businesses and residents.
Thank you to Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito and his team for getting me these photos and quotes so quickly.
I think there may have been some fear that I would come down to the ribbon cutting, and attempt to steal the spotlight.
That worry is not without merit, I've been known to hijack a press conference or two. I did it when Mark Boughton was the Mayor. He'd scheduled a press conference to cut the ribbon on the Uncle Same Statue, so I staged my own press conference hours earlier.
I actually had every intention of doing the same with the 7-Eleven ribbon-cutting, but my daughter was off from school on Friday, so I could not make it. That was a close call for all the fine folks behind this victory for the Hat City.
After all, I do take partial credit for this 7-Eleven, and I'm not even joking.
This is precisely the kind of thing that infuriates my detractors. They hate it when you take credit, have fun, speak your mind and tell it like it is because they are incapable of doing any of that.
So, I intend to keep on trucking, agitating my rivals, calling people out, and making a lot of noise around town.
In all seriousness, the work that went into this is immeasurable and involves many hard-working people, I've never met. The effort even spans three Mayors; Boughton, Cavo, and Esposito. Congratulations to the new business owners and the citizens of Danbury on a functional, clean, safe, money-making site.
P.S. Believe it or not, there are some Bennigan's restaurants still open in this country. They have active locations in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota, Florida, and Ohio. Those states have quite the pallet - a real nose for cuisine.