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Fill The Spot: 549 Bank Street

This tiny building once hosted Chester's Barbecue

It will take a unique business to make this miniscule space work, but Chester's Barbecue did it for a number of years. According to the Groton Patch, the New London location opened in 2005 before the debuted two years later.

"The original store was 300 SF, eight seats and one tiny smoker," the business's website declares. "Within six months [Chester] was sleeping in the store to keep up with the demand."

The barbecue review website Pigtrip.net describes the New London location as "a little brick shack jutting out to the sidewalk, like a model train building dropped too close to the tracks." It says the building itself "lends barbecue credibility even before you open the doors and bask in the aromas of smoke and meat." The review also includes some photos of the cozy operation, with a grand total of three small tables and a chalkboard of offerings.

Unfortunately, a fire on Nov. 9, 2010 wound up shutting this location down. I found this blurb from the New London Patch Facebook, way back when I was covering the news via social media since the site was just about a month shy of launching:

"Chester Dugas, owner of the Chester's restaurants in New London and Groton, says the smoker caught on fire last night. It caused some equipment damage but did not harm the structure. No one was hurt.

Dugas says they'll have to replace the equipment and make sure everything passes inspection again before the restaurant can reopen. He estimates they'll be up and running in two to four weeks."

A quick trip by the site reveals that this estimate was a bit off, as the building has been vacant since the fire. The windows are papered over, with a couple of old notices about an application before the Planning and Zoning Commission and a building permit application.

Would you like to see Chester's return to this site, or would you prefer a different use for this little brick building? Let us know in the comments.

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Donna Pearlman June 10, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I would dearly love to see Chester's Barbecue reopen a location in New London here!

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