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Poll Results: Chathamites Want a Restaurant

Residents prefer one with the township's new liquor license.

The Committee hasn't yet formally created a third consumption (C) liquor license, but residents already know where they want it to go.

shows 71 out of 110 readers want to see a restaurant in the empty storefront in the Chatham Mall, formerly occupied by Drug Fair.

Nancy "Taz" Brower agreed with two commenters from the poll who wanted to see a Cracker Barrel in the space.

"Cracker Barrel is an interesting thought. They have everything. They have a marvelous gift shop, along with their dining room. ... I just can't imagine it just a plain restaurant, it's such a large space," she said.

Another 34 people who took Chatham Patch's poll said they would like to see a department store that could take up the entire storefront. Brower liked the idea of a "small department store. There isn't anything else like that in the area," she said.

Miranda Cogswell, a resident of Chatham Township for more than 16 years, said she would like to see a Trader Joe's or an Indoor Sports Pavilion.

"All the parents in Chatham drive to the nearest [Indoor Sports Pavilion], which is in Randolph. It's such a huge drive," she said. "Chatham, Madison, Summit parents, we're all driving to Randolph endlessly."

Bailey Brower Jr., a member of the Chatham Township Committee, said he was unsure a restaurant would be a good fit for the space.

"My caveat is that the place is pretty large for a single restaurant. ... If they split it down the middle and they had two storefronts, that might be a good draw."

As for the liquor license, Brower is confident it will not go unused. "That license got dangled, somebody's going to jump," he said.

Joann Carroll February 16, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I would love to see a teen center for ages +13 in some of the space. Food court, arcade, pool, ping pong, star theatre for viewing not only movies but specials like the super bowl, batting cages, hoops courts and more. Simply a place for teens to be safe and hang out without being told to leave by local businesses that are trying to run a business not host teens after school and on weekends.
Jennifer February 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM
A Cracker Barrel? I don't think we need a Cracker Barrel in Chatham. A nice restaurant, a nice store, a gym or center with activities are all nice ideas. That space has been so many different things so hopefully it's something that can be sustained long term.
Julia February 16, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I think there are enough gyms in the area, some of them closing due to lack of interest! A teen center would be nice but I'm not sure teens would go there, plus, it would really only be used on the weekends due to school hours. Can't keep a business running only on the weekends! Cut the space down the middle...half restaurant, half department store of some kind. I'm still for Cracker Barrel!
heretoolong February 16, 2012 at 06:03 PM
make an ice rink out of it.
Captain Jack February 16, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Trader Joe's would be perfect and they could sell wine. Cracker Barrell is fuddy duddy and we already have charlie browns.

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