SoCal girl buys home in CT

sue7972April 1, 2006

DH and I are buying a second home in Kent, CT. We've been looking at this area for a couple of years and finally decided to bite the bullet. Now I need to know about all those secret shopping areas. Where do I find the deals on fabrics, can I get Pottery Barn knockoffs nearby, any good unfinished furniture stores around, best bargin furniture store like Levitz or Wickes or Living Spaces...? I can find all these without any problem in SoCal, but have no clue where to look for them in New England. Please help!



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Kent is not really close to any great shopping areas. But there are tons of antique stores in the neighborhood, so I would start there. Litchfield county is full of them.

There is a big antique mall in Collinsville that I've heard is good as well. Then you could come a little further toward Hartford into Canton and Avon - - tons of great shopping. There is a new, big, outdoor, somewhat upscale shopping mall in Canton that I haven't even been to yet, but I do know they have a Sur La Table. And they are building a whole new shopping development in West Hartford center, which will have a Crate & Barrel (last I heard). As for discount furniture, I'm not too sure - - hopefully someone else will chime in.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:08PM
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I know there atleast USED to be an Ethan Allan store in Danbury. I don't know for sure if it's still there-- about half way between exits 2 and 3 off 84.

VERY nice area you're moving into, not too far from both of my 2 favorite places in the whole world-- Kent Falls, and Roxbury Falls! :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 12:09AM
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Thanks Paige and Bill. We are at a hotel right now in Danbury that is just down the road from the Ethan Allen store and hotel. I never knew Ethan Allen had a hotel! Bill, the house we are buying is within walking distance to Kent Falls State Park. I'm looking forward to spending some time there. Once we get settled in I'll be asking you for the good fishing areas. My SIL loves to fish and I'd like to be able to tell him the good places to go.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 6:25AM
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Hey Sue, I was thinking more about the Hartford area, but Danbury has some great resources. While you're in Danbury you might want to check out the Waterworks showroom. If you have any kitchen/bath remodeling in your future, you won't want to miss it. It's high end and expensive, but you can get some great ideas in there and maybe find a splurge item or two. Their products are featured in shelter mags all the time, and they are based in Danbury.

If you want discount furniture, then Bob's Discount Furniture is one way to go. They are a very successful local furniture chain. Decent starter furniture for great prices. They are off I-84 at Exit 7 on Rt. 7. Along the same stretch is also a LaZBoy and a few other furniture places.

If you head down the other way on Rt. 7, you'll want to stop in at Stew Leonard's. It's a big "dairy" store, but they also have lots of great prepared foods.

And don't forget there is an IKEA in New Haven. But that's a good 1.5 hours from you.

I've been to many a wedding at the Ethan Allen! I grew up in that area of CT. I know you are probably staying at one of two hotels, so I'll try to make a few restaurant suggestions on Mill Plain. The Chinese Restaurant down on Mill Plain is pretty good - - it used to be called Panda West, but the name might have changed. Rosie Tomorrow's is a loud and boisterous place to go and have a good dinner and great drinks. And up by the Western CT State campus and across from Stop & Shop is Kabuki, which is great Hibachi-style Japanese/sushi. Very reasonably priced, too. I would actually make that my first choice.

Good Luck and Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 9:03AM
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The big Collisville antique place moved to RT 44 Barkhamsted. After that you could go either way up/down 44. If you go North, there is a lot of Antique/used places all the way up 44 thru Winsted. Then follow a map to RT 7. You could Antique till your heart is content. I believe after going all the way up 7, you could turn around and stay on 7 to return to Kent.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 9:55AM
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. We stumbled across Bob's today and also a dining room furniture outlet. Our next trip back will be when we close on the house, so I see another trip to Danbury and probably Hartford, too. We will probably use your dinner suggestions tonight, Paige. And eandhl, I see an antiquing jaunt in my near future!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 2:51PM
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Sue, you're not by any chance staying at the Hilton right off exit 2, are you? That's how I found that Ethan Allen store-- the very first slab stone job I ever worked on as an apprentice was doing all the travertine slab (and tile floor) in the lobby of that hotel in 1981!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 4:19PM
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Bill, I've been walking all over your work for a couple of days now! Nice job!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 5:33PM
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Brings back alot of memories. I was on that jobsite when I found out my wife had gone into labor with my first son (about an hour away in Orange). :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 10:45PM
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Congratulations on moving to Kent! Beautiful choice! Spring will be lovely there!

More restaurants to try while you are still in transition: Spasi and Nobe, one on either end of Mill Plain Road, Spasi nearer the Sheraton & Garden Hilton and Nobe nearer Ethan Allen's. Nobe's accoustics aren't good, but the food is. If you are a golfer (or not), Richter Park is a fabulous public course north of Mill Plain on Aunt Hack road and has an excellent restaurant called Cafe on the Green. In the other direction on Mill Plain after it becomes Rt. 6, going a few miles into NY state, stop at Rraci's Restaurant [(845) 278-6695] for really good Italian/European fare. For special occasion dinners, there is a favorite French restaurant, Ondine's on Rt. 37 North on the Danbury/New Fairfield border. Nearby, there is a more casual Jo-Jo's Fish House with good fare.

If you like Indian food, try Thali on Route 7 in Ridgefield. In downtown nearby Bethel, go to LaZingara for imaginative Italian fare. There is an excellent art movie house nearby in Bethel, as well as an old fashioned menu at the Sycamore Drive-In, a vintage 50's affair.

The Danbury Fair Mall has an interesting new furniture store, Safavieh, with trendy and classic selections, plus rugs. A local store, Danbury Furniture at 11 Rose Street just off Main, is going out of business. You might find a few bargains there as prices drift down. They are 25% to 40% off now. They carry Broyhill and other name brands.

Near your hotel is a must check-out store, Lillian August, where you'll get some great decorating ideas and accessories, even if you don't find a furniture bargain. They are having an upholstry sale just now.

You can find some good prices at The Door Store Furniture in Greenwich and good value on custom upholstry at Calico Corners on Rt. 7 in Wilton. There is a Raymour & Flannigan's in Brookfield on Federal Road that runs frequent furniture sales.

Besides the excellent suggestion for Waterworks, you should stop in Klaff's on Newtown Road in Danbury (off Exit 8) to see their fabulous selections for kitchens, baths, lighting, tile, cabinets, cabinet hardware and fixtures. Unfinsihed: try the Wood Bin on Federal Raod in Brookfield. Nearby is American Tile & a Bath store, as well as Tile America, all very good selections, if not as grand as Klaff's.

Appliances: check out Zemels on Newtown Road, in the Staples Shopping Center not too far from Klaff's for fair pricing and service. They have a broad range of brands including Wolf's, Sub-zero, Vikings, DCS, Thermadore, Bosch, Asko, U-line, GE, Maytag, etc.

Paint: Ray Roth's is the B.Moore & C-2 dealer in Danbury & Brookfield. There is a Sherwin Williams dealer on Federal Road near Stew's. Roal's in New Milford would be closer to Kent, though.

Will stop because this is overload, I imagine. There are some good restaurants in New Milford, which will be closer to Kent, but I am not as current with them. Oh, if you NEED chocolate, there is fabulous Bridgewater Chocolate north of American Tile and Tile America on Federal Road. I understand there is a fine European chocolatier in Kent as well.

Enjoy Connecticut!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 12:51AM
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annalee, you definitely come from my neck of the woods! Great advice. Many places I had not thought of originally, and some must be new since I've never heard of them - - Spasi and Node? The only one I would differ on is the Indian restaurant on Rt. 7 in Ridgefield. Let's just say that based upon personal knowledge, I would not drink a glass of water in that restaurant! 'Nuff said. ;-)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 9:59AM
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Hi, Page.

Yep - transplanted here for 20 years now.
Actually a number of friends have very recently recommended Thali. It used to be under another Indian ownership which was not great, but apparently it is excellent now - that is, unless you have been there in the same last 2 months to experience the same ownership they are all talking about. In that case, ignore my recommendation. We've been anxious to try Thali, as we usually go to Bombay on 37 or the the Brewster Victorian Indian place.

Spasi is always great for Italian food in a neat setting(LOL - 98% of our choices are Italian here!) Nobe is close to 2 years old where the old Brickyard used to be, across from Stop N'Shop. Fusion cooking - very good, very noisy.

Another recent good Japanese choice is in Bethel on Greenwood ave, but its name escapes me now.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 10:00PM
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If it is truly new ownership, then I would think Thali should be fine.

Where is Spasi?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 11:24PM
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Spasi is at 39 Mill Plain on the far left in the same shopping strip where Bagelman is. Looks very Manhattan-ish inside the space, though. Brick walls, tall ceilings,banquets, antique posters and a tall wood wine cellar rack in the dining room, with a bar area on the other side.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 11:59PM
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Isn't that where the video store used to be? I had no idea there was a restaurant there. Good to know! I have been in the area several times recently, and need to go back a few more times in the next few weeks for family business. I'll take my parents out to Spasi.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 12:19AM
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Paige- sorry for the misspelling - I was tired!

I think it was a video store - it was gutted and remodeled.
You might want to call Spasi at 744-9115 for a reservation if you are taking them there on a Friday or Saturday evening between 7 and 9, as the tables usually fill up.

One additional interesting new place is SAKE, an Asian fusion restaurant, off Exit 14 in Southbury. It is a mile or so in on the road that parallels 84 with all the shopping areas - heading back toward town. Opposite side and down from Chico's and Staples. It has been very popular since it opened and puts a slightly different twist on its dishes.

Enjoy your parents!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 10:09AM
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