It appears the recent Interstate 95 service plazas mysteries discussed in my article “Rest Stop Tenants Should Stay Open” have been solved along with those regarding new tenants.
Robeks and Statement U.S.A.
I told readers that when I visited the I-95 Milford Northbound Service Plaza on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:30 p.m., I noticed thatRobeks and Statement, U.S.A.’s outlets were closed and questioned why this was the case. There were no signs indicating why they were closed or when they would reopen.
While I sent a Facebook message to Robeks on March 4 and got no response, I did get answers from Project Service, LLC, the operator of the state’s highway service plazas.
Mike Modine, Director of Operations of Project Service, said that the franchisee of Robeks decided to close their Milford northbound plaza outlet around Dec. 31, 2013.
Ironically, as of Mar. 20, Robeks was still listed on the sign in front of the plaza and on the Connecticut Service Plazas website. The Robeks corporate website listed the location as “now blending”.
While the Robeks franchisee website promises to add locations in other Connecticut service plazas, Modine said that there is “no future development at this time with us.”
As for Statement, U.S.A., Modine said they, “decided to operate their entire retail store from a large kiosk in the common area rather than the storefront.”
The chain also operates stores at the Milford southbound and Darien northbound service plazas with a store coming soon to Darien southbound, according to their website.
Modine said that while Statement still uses their former store at Milford northbound for storage, they prefer to work out of the kiosk.
A tenant, that is yet to be decided, is slated to take over both the Robeks and Statement space, located between Sbarro and the Alltown convenience store, he added.
It has also yet to be decided what tenants will join those who have signed on to be a part of the Fairfield and Madison service plazas that are currently undergoing renovation work, Modine said.
The plazas will have McDonald’s (except Madison northbound), Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Alltown, and Mobil.
Travelers can expect to enjoy hot pretzels, fresh baked goods, and tasty frozen yogurt in the future.
Modine said that construction plans are in for review for Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon to open at the Branford southbound plaza. “Plans are in the works as we speak” for these two outlets to also open in the Branford northbound plaza, he added.
The Connecticut Service Plazas Facebook page stated that the two outlets have opened eateries in the Darien southbound service plaza this past January.
Additionally, Modine said that Pinkberry will have a new store opening in approximately four weeks at the Darien northbound plaza. After it opens, he explained that construction will begin for a Pinkberry in the Darien southbound plaza.
When asked if there were any other new tenants coming to the plazas, Modine said, “none at the moment, we are always looking though.”
Hours of Operation
My previous article reported on the fact that not all retail and restaurants at the service plazas are open 24/7. Outlets not open all the time include Sbarro, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Wilson’s BBQ,Panda Express, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cheeseboy, Statement, U.S.A., Mac-n-Out, and Good-to-Go Organics.
Most of these outlets fail to post their service plaza hours on their websites and hours are not posted on the Connecticut Service Plaza website or in the service plaza buildings. When I made the suggestion to have hours posted, Modine agreed stating, “Listing other tenants hours is a good idea, I’ll look into that.”
Modine did say that “the convenient store/gas, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s are all open 24 hours” and that “in most cases the tenants that are open 24 hours have it listed on their highway signage.”