Wednesday, March 07, 2007

East Gate Plaza

The plaza that time forgot... well, not entirely, although it hasn't been refurbished in a couple of decades. If you don't know it's there, you'll probably never find it. The plaza is on Store Avenue, which doesn't get all that much traffic. It's also just off Meriden Road, but drivers on that road will never see it.

Here's the typical view from Meriden Road. No sign (literally and figuratively) of the plaza at all:

If you peer down Store Avenue, you might just barely catch sight of the plaza's sign. See it?

Here's the same image, zoomed and cropped.

And the plaza itself. Kind of sad looking, but it's doing much better than Colonial Plaza, which has fantastic visibility.

Some of the East Gate Plaza businesses have been there for eons: the Barleycorn Irish Cafe and the East Gate Restaurant (good diner breakfast) have maybe always been there. Richie's Comic Cabana moved there a few years ago. I used to shop at Richie's old location before Legends of Superheros opened. Richie's (at the old location) was the stereotypical comic book store--cramped, dark with dark wood panel walls, and operated by an unfriendly, slovenly fat man. I haven't been to the new store, so it could be different. And he's been in business for decades, so he must be doing something right.

The newcomers at the Plaza include Bismillah Grocery (Pakistan, Indian, Bangladesh) and Shahi Zaika Restaurant (curry, nan, kabab, nihari and tandoor specialist). I think Shahi Zaika opened a year ago. Quick googling shows that it used to be called Bukhara Palace. For the past ten years, I've been moaning about the lack of Indian restaurants in Waterbury. How did I miss this? Well, probably because it's in East Gate Plaza. It took me two years to remember that Richie's had moved there. Out of sight, out of mind.

Coming soon to this blog: a review of Shahi Zaika!


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the review! I didn't know there were any Indian food places either. If you find some Thai, let me know. Maybe I'd move back! ;-)

Waterbury Girl said...

The Siam Thai restaurant opened on Meriden Road in Wolcott just after you left.

Anonymous said...

Hi Waterbury Girl. First and foremost, let me say that your site is spectacular! I grew up in Waterbury, and haven't lived there since the early 80s, but you capture its spirit and essence perfectly. It's a weird, quirky, funky, fascinating place. Anyway, I grew up in Bouley Manor, a stone's throw "through the yards" from East Gate. I believe the East Gate name is from the late 70s/early 80s, when they expanded it into an "L" shape, and added places like the Barleycorn, etc. The plaza, typical to type, dates back to the 50s, and the main anchor was the A&P supermarket, along with a liquor store, Colonial Bank, and Raylene's Laundromat (is that still there?). Originally, it did had a main entrance on Meriden Road, between the bank and the car lot, and a big plaza sign announcing its existence. neonjohn