I was out for a walk in my neighborhood (Downtown Danbury) Sunday (6/13/21) when I noticed a sign on the front of Nico's Pizza and Pasta. The sign was located on the entrance and read the following:

"Sorry. We are Closed. More Information to follow. Thank You!"

Lou Milano

I was with my wife Erica and asked her if she had heard anything about why they might be closed and she said she saw something on her Facebook post about it. She couldn't remember who the person was, but they'd posted something about the beloved pizza place closing for good.

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Under normal circumstances, the restaurant would be closed on Sunday. According to the website, the hours are Monday-Saturday from 11 am - 10 pm but I can't see a reason to post such an ominous sign on the entrance to announce that the pizza place would be closed on a Sunday. The Facebook page has no announcements and neither does the website.

Nico's has been a place that's been a topic of conversation on our show many times. We've always talked about how underrated it is as an Italian eatery. Whenever we run a poll, formal or informal, listeners share their affection for the restaurant, so if it is closing it would be extremely sad.

I am hoping that the announcement will come out very soon that the owners are remodeling. No matter what the announcement is, we will share updates with you as we get them and I intend to call today and contact the owners to see what is behind the sign.

Business owners on Main Street in Danbury have faced more than just the struggles that COVID-19 presented, the region has been a difficult place to operate a business in recent years because foot traffic has been so down.

We addressed the issue directly with Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo in January of 2021 and asked thy Mayor why businesses have a difficult time keeping their door open on Main Street, this is what he had to say:

"I think it's a phenomena, I'm really not entirely sure what it is. We hear about so many different things downtown, there are so many exciting things going on. We have a great City Center that works with their businesses. They all can be a member of that board and they all can participate and give their input on how they see City Center developing. You know, when I became a councilman 18 years ago, we had just received a long study that was done that said, 'look the way you are going to save downtown is by bringing in market rate housing."

The Mayor continued:

"You have to have people downtown to want to go downtown. I remember when we did Kennedy Flats project and I had friends, very close, dear friends who said to me you'll never rent fifteen units out of that building. That building will stand as a big empty structure, no one will ever rent in it. You know, we luckily had the vision and didn't see it that way and now that building is at full occupancy with a waiting list."

There is a construction project underway right now that would bring more residents directly to downtown in the old Newstimes building and the City has begun its streetscape project to beautify city sidewalks.

Hopefully it's not too late for Nico's, it would be a shame to lose another family owned business.

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