‘Really Convenient’: New Canaanites Weigh In on the New Dunkin Location at South and Elm

A relocated Dunkin’ Donuts recently opened on the corner of South Avenue and Elm Street, and in a bigger space, expanding the town’s selection of coffee and pastry. 

The new location—just down the street from Dunkin’s longtime Elm Street home—has sparked discussion among locals, prompting conversations about convenience, space, aesthetics, service and parking. Maria and Michael Palladino, longtime New Canaan locals, said they are Dunkin’ regulars and like the new space. “We would say we are avid coffee drinkers, we really appreciate the variety of refreshments offered,” Maria Palladino said. “The new location is also really convenient for our daily visits.”

Though Dunkin has occupied commercial space in the same row of buildings next to Bank of America for decades, local customers say they’re making a smooth transition to the expanded store. The new location offers easier access to the parking at Morse Court, which includes metered spaces as well as free 15-minute spots that customers can use to visit Dunkin without crossing a street.

Town Resident Seeks P&Z Approval for Boutique Commercial Gym at Home

A homeowner in eastern New Canaan is seeking permission to operate a boutique gym as a business on the lower level of the house. Classes at “The Remix” at 57 Rilling Ridge—a 6,200-square-foot home on two acres, tax records show—are capped at four clients per session, according to an application filed with the Planning & Zoning Commission on behalf of the property owner by attorney David Rucci of New Canaan-based Lampert, Toohey & Rucci LLC. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, a Special Permit is required from P&Z in order to operate a “Major Home” business (see page 51 here). The applicant is also seeking site plan approval. P&Z is expected to take up the application at its May 23 meeting.

Zumbach’s Plans Second Coffee Shop on Burtis Avenue

New Canaan’s best-established and locally owned coffee shop is planning to open a second location downtown. 

Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee, a hub of activity at the corner of Pine and Grove Streets, is planning to open a shop on Burtis Avenue, according to an application submitted to Planning & Zoning. “Doug has leased a space at the above referenced address where he plans to open a second coffee shop location offering an expanded selection of handmade coffees including cold-brew as well as nitro-brew coffees,” Paul Tully of Imian Partners LLC, representing the property owner, said in an April 14 letter to Town Assistant Planner/Zoning Inspector Sarah Carey. Tully referred to New Canaan’s Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous coffee shop that also founded the popular car show “Caffeine & Carburetors.”

The commercial building at 22 Burtis Ave. is located in the Business A
Zone. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, site plan approval is required from the Planning & Zoning Commission.

PHOTOS: Dog Days 2023 at Nature Center

Hundreds of dog lovers visited the New Canaan Nature Center on Sunday for what has grown into one of the community’s favorite annual events. Dog Days New Canaan, sponsored and organized by Pet Pantry Warehouse, was held on a clear, warm day on the grass field next to the Visitors Center. “Absolutely fantastic today,” Ari Jacobson, vice president of Pet Pantry said as hundreds of dog owners leash-walked their four-legged companions through the activity-filled field. “Couldn’t have asked for a better day with the weather. New Canaan Nature Center is hosting us again.

New Concrete Planters To Replace White Plastic Barriers for Outdoor Dining on Elm

New Canaan’s local traffic authority has approved this season of expanded outdoor dining in three areas along the north side of Elm Street. The Police Commission at its most recent meeting voted unanimously to allow the expanded outdoor dining—an offshoot of the COVID-19 pandemic where tables and chairs are placed in would-be parking spaces on the street and enclosed by temporary barricades—in front of Patisserie Salzburg/Rosie, Solé and Chef Luis. The white plastic barriers from past outdoor dining seasons will be re-used until, with approval from other town bodies, they’re replaced in six to eight weeks with rectangular 32-by-32-by-64-inch concrete planters, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. The 2,400-pound planters are “somewhat similar to the size of a temporary precast concrete barrier, only those are eight feet long whereas these are just over five feet long,” Mann told members of the Police Commission at their April 19 meeting, held at police headquarters and via videoconference. “We feel we can place these along the area instead of the white barricades and they will provide more safety for outdoor diners and the fact that it can be planted is kind of nice, and it’s really a different look than the white barricades,” Mann said.