Wed, Aug 21, 2013 01:40 PM
Hobby Lobby eyes Rutland
Arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby has been considering opening a
store in Rutland. Although company officials admit that the chain
is growing and hopes to open a store in Rutland, they have not yet
announced a location. Speculation is that the former Hannaford
supermarket on South Main Street behind Panera Bread, is among
those being considered.
Hobby Lobby has said that it is opening as many as 34 stores this
year and more than 50 next year; it already owns 557 stores in the
U.S. but none yet in Vermont.
The faith-based chain is currently
fighting an Obamacare mandate to avoid providing employee insurance
coverage for the morning-after pill, with the argument that doing
so violates its religious beliefs.
Pasqually's has a new owner
Donna Garruso recently purchased the sandwich shop Pasqually's, 162
N. Main St., Rutland. She anticipates continuing to make and serve
the steak and chicken bombs that have been the mainstay of the
shop, formerly owned by Mitch and Elizabeth Morgan. In the future,
she anticipates adding a few Italian favorites to the menu.
Midway Diner to become iHop
Pancakes are on the horizon at the edge of downtown Rutland. Sam
Handy is leasing 120 South Main St., the former Midway Diner, from
Frank Trombetta Jr. and business partner John Valente. By
November, the site will hold an IHOP restaurant.
Handy has been
trying to bring the pancake chain to Rutland for several years,
first wanting to build one next door to the Ponderosa restaurant;
it would have been the first IHOP in the state. Vermont's Act 250
peculiarities delayed the project, and Handy opened the first
Vermont IHOP in Burlington. Financing kinks slowed down his
intended purchase of the Midway Diner more recently, but his
persistence paid off in the lease he recently signed.
Handy plans to hire 75 to 100 workers in the new eatery and has
said that all current Midway employees are welcome to apply for a
job. Once construction is completed, the new IHOP will seat 165
patrons and be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. It will
serve breakfast all day long.
Although good pancakes are a treat, seeing the closure of the
"dining car" diner triggers a twinge of nostalgia for many. The
stainless steel façade and aerodynamic shape of a railroad dining
car can be seen as elements of a vanishing American landscape.
Congratulations youth fly-fisher
Cameron Chioffi, who recently won a gold medal in the World Cup
Youth Fly Fishing Tournament. Chioffi first joined Team UA in 2001.
He scored a first on two river competitions, a third on one lake
venue and first on the second, and a second on the first, for a
total placing-points score of 8. The tournament took place in
Alderman proposes bike helmet requirement for
Alderman Ed Larson is asking the Board of Aldermen to consider
enacting an ordinance requiring bicycle helmets on the heats of
city cyclists age 15 and under. We understand brain injuries better
than in years past, Larson says; he believes requiring helmets
would protect young brains enough to prevent many accidents from
causing paralysis or death. A number of community organizations
already provide helmets for young riders, circumstances that derail
arguments that the cost of the headgear would keep financially
disabled children from riding.
Audit of city Parks and Rec dept. expected to show no foul
The aldermen, acting as the Committee of the Whole, recently voted
to recommend that the Board of Aldermen seek bidding for a forensic
audit of the Recreation and Parks Department over the past four
years. The hope is that the audit would help restore public
confidence in the city's governance.
What an audit would look for is fraud or theft. Recently resigned
recreation superintendent EJay Bishop admitted making unauthorized
expenditures of some $47,000 for architectural services. Aldermen
who supported the audit have stated they do not expect to find
illegal activities, but feel the audit will demonstrate that lack
to the public at large.
Foley joins Roundtable
Mark Foley, Jr., recently became the newest member of the Vermont
Business Roundtable. The owner and president of Foley Services, the
oldest family-run laundry operation in the U.S. for restaurant
linens and uniforms, Foley is a member of the Board of Directors
and chair of the Real Estate Committee for Rutland Economic
Development Corporation, and board president of the Paramount
Potential for occupancy at former Pepsi bottling
Changes seem to be underway for the former Pepsi bottling plant on
Route 7B in Clarendon, but what they may be is not yet obvious.
Commercial realtor Ray Ault, representing the property owner, said
the building was most recently occupied until April. Green Mountain
Power used it as a hub from which to distribute and install new
meters for about 18 months.
Members of the community recently expressed concern over potential
changes in use by an unnamed new owner. The building is currently
Although Ault noted that he cannot comment on the building's status
while a contract is under negotiation, but did comment that "It
takes so long for owners, buyers, and tenants to get through the
process." Time is required to discern whether the structure's
anticipated use fits within an individual town's permitted use or a
conditional use permit must be sought.
Although there has been talk that an Act 250 permit had been filed
for the site, the only statewide paperwork issued is for a nearby
subdivision for Green Mountain Power, and listing Pepsi Bottling
Ventures on the permit application because of right-of-way issues.
A public forum to discuss a potential zoning change has been
scheduled, sponsored by REDC and held at the Clarendon Grange
Community Center. The buyer has not yet been revealed.
New mural painted downtown
See the newest mural downtown, on the side of the Service Building,
siding the Merchants Row entrance to Center Street Alley. As murals
go, this newest painting is small, about 12 feet by 8 feet. It is
the third downtown mural created by Kathryn Wiegers; others
brighten the side of the Rutland Natural Foods Market on Wales
Street and overlook West Street. In the fall, there will be another
work of art to delight downtowners: on the side of the Gryphon
Building, enhancing the view of Green Mountain Power's Energy
Innovation Center on Merchants Row.
Warning stickers placed on downtown parking
The city's Department of Public Works has been putting warning
stickers on two-hour parking meters, warning parkers to not try to
park all day and continuously feed the meters. Look for a long-term
meter if you plan to stay more than two hours.
New Flea Market seeks vendors
Roseanne Smalley is looking for vendors who have something to sell
at her new Rutland Area Flea Market, 200 West Street. The former
site of Rutland Motorcars, adjacent to the Vermont Farmers
Foodcenter, will be open alternate weekends (Saturdays and Sundays)
from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Smalley hopes to attract casual vendors, people who want to sell
possessions they no longer want once or twice a year, as well as
those who vend professionally. There is room for up to 35 sellers.
Smalley plans a grand opening Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 and Sept.
1. Call 770-9104.
Lani's weekly calendar picks
Thursday, Aug. 22 - Roots music guitar virtuoso and winner of the
International Blues Challenge award, Toby Walker performs in the
Brick Box at the Paramount Theatre. 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 25 - The Rutland County Humane Society hosts a Dog
Days of Summer pool party at White's Pool, 1 to 3 p.m. Free
swimming (dogs only), games, fun!
Thursday, Aug. 29 - Rutland Economic Development Corp., 112 Quality
Ln., hosts a three-hour workshop on Starting Your Own Small