Once a year of composing columns, I enjoy composing a “Questions and Answers” in response to the questions of curious readers in my hometown.
Q. Why can’t restaurants like the one across from ESPN make it or the one recently closed on Eden Avenue?
A. Locations for restaurants isn’t like real estate. Too often restaurateurs believe a location at heavy traffic areas is an automatic winner. After McDonald’s closed years ago across from ESPN, a few restaurants figured the traffic and being across from the sports network was perfect, but the reality is employees of ESPN have a cafeteria better than a restaurant. Plus, neither of the failed places were able to promote in both Southitting-Bristol communities. The Southington bar had a bizarre name and a very expensive lease.
Q. Why does our town have so many restaurants and bars?
A. Simply because the market demands it. Downtown Southington is more vibrant than any city within 10 miles plus the variety of eateries and beverage places attracts plenty of out-of-towners.
Q. Southington High has produced many outstanding athletes. Who do you believe were the best male athletes ever?
A. Walt Marek back in the late 1950s was a standout Blue Knight in three varsity sports. The modest but talented Marek was an outstanding football, baseball and basketball performer and later a great bowler, softball player. Vin Clements would be my second choice. The 1966 graduate was a standout in three sports but football brought him to great heights, such as playing for UConn and later the NFL Vikings and NY Giants. Included should be Jack Zilly from Lewis High who went on to play for a college national champion, then pro football for the Eagles and Rams.