Storrs Center’s history of delaying openings

Grille 86 and Tang are restaurants in Storrs center that will be opening soon. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

New businesses coming to Storrs Center frequently delay their openings and do not open until later than initially planned.

Grille 86, a restaurant that plans to offer new American food and a place for sporting event viewings, is opening this weekend despite having been originally scheduled to open during the 2016 holiday season. The opening was postponed because of a change in the location’s design, managing partner Marc Alderucci said.

“We didn’t want to rush it. We wanted to get everything done the right way,” Grille 86 operations representative Shelby Krause said.

Opening a new business in Storrs Center is a complicated process that requires a great deal of time and effort, CEO and Principal of Leyland Alliance LLC and developer of Storrs Center Howard Kaufman said.

“Each store or restaurant is unique and carefully thought out. Sometimes this just takes longer than expected. Sometimes there are delays because a contractor is unavailable, or because a design detail is changed—or because of something that needs to be corrected,” Kaufman said.

Kathleen Paterson, the Communications and Special Projects Manager for the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, said that a delay between the anticipated opening and the actual opening of a business is fairly common and not unique to Storrs Center, and that there are a variety of reasons why these delays may happen, from design changes to construction delays.

“The process to crease a unique, custom restaurant is complex and can sometimes take longer than one anticipates,” Paterson said. “As a point of comparison, corporate chain restaurants will have a set plan that is readily applied to new locations. For an independent business, the owner needs to make all of those decisions, from the layout of the kitchen equipment to the lighting and furnishing of the dining area to what types of pots, pans, dishes, and utensils to use.”

Paterson said that sometimes the process for making the myriad of necessary decisions goes smoothly, but that other times one seemingly simple change can require making several other changes to the plans.

“There are also many things beyond the control of business owners, chief among them weather,” Paterson said. “A winter storm can affect one’s schedule well past when the snow clears. For example, a truck delivering equipment gets delayed, which means that work depending on that equipment is delayed and so is any sequential work,” Paterson said.

Paterson concluded that there are a variety of reasons there may be delays between an anticipated opening and an actual opening date of any business, and that such delays are not uncommon.


Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.