UPDATE: Stew Leonard Jr. addresses Milford theater site

Updated poll results. A total of 456 people took the New Haven Register's poll question concerning what they'd like to see happen to the former Milford Showcase Cinemas site on Cherry Street.

A staggering 384 respondents wants a Stew Leonard's dairy store or 84 percent, followed by 35 or 8 percent for open space, then mixed use with 24 responses, followed by a stripmall with 8, and a supermarket with just 5 responses.

What do you think of the poll results? Let us know by commenting here. Thanks.

This was the original blog post. 

I emailed Stew Leonard Jr. Wednesday afternoon after several readers on our Milford Matters blog said they wanted Leonard to open his dairy store at the former Milford Showcase Cinemas site in Milford.

We also set up a poll question at www.nhregister.com and as of 12 p.m. Thursday 80 percent of respondents want to see Stew open his store in Milford. Just 9 percent of respondents said a mixed-use development, followed closed by open space at 7 percent.

Leonard emailed me back late Wednesday where he didn’t specifically address whether he did or did not have interest in the Milford site.

This is what Leonard emailed me, “Rumors fly. We’re focused on NY and Stonington, Maine right now.” He added that he recently sold more than 250,000 lobsters.

Leonard ended his email in his usual joking manner by writing, “Keep on pumping out those exciting headlines.”

It’s interesting because Leonard didn’t rule out interest, nor did he say he had any. The bottom line is who knows, well at least I don’t know.

Leonard of course tried for 15 years to construct his dairy store, which currently in Connecticut is located in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, on Marsh Hill Road in Orange. But Leonard appeared to abandon those aspirations after he agreed in principle earlier this year to sell his property to Shelton developer Robert D. Scinto. 

What do you think? Here is our poll.


  1. It looks like Orange really blew it. It also looks like Scinto may have a hard time convincing anyone else to develop the property there.

  2. build it a charge Orange residents an extra 5% for shopping there.

  3. Make a park or something for kids to do that doesn't revolve around SHOPPING!!!!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Whatever Milford rejects sent to East Haven.

  6. You can thank Jim Zeoli for Stew not building in Orange. He is being paid by Stop & Shop to make every bump to get over.

  7. My thoughts. If Stew wanted to build on that site, he would have paid cash for the property. He has no need or desire to have a landlord.

  8. @Rich
    - Zeoli had no part in denying Stews, a group of orange residents fought the plans and it went to the courts. Stews people decided it wasn't worth the trouble. The first time it came to Orange they wanted to build in a residential zone. Zones are set up for a quality of life. (who wants a mega store in there backyard?)

    Also without Stews there the area has flourished tremendously. We now have all of UI and Southern CT Gas Operations centered on Marsh Hill bring alot of jobs and taxes to the town. Not to mention the old Behr property that is half in Orange. That entire area was purchased by Yale for research and education. That is a massive sight as well.

  9. It would be great to have a Stew Leonard's at the old movie theater site. I wouldn't have ot drive to Norwalk to get my "Stew's". They have great food there.

  10. Blame Vinny Marino and the Republicans for pushing away Stew Leonards. They did manage to get an Odd Lot store. Didn't Scinto go to jail for hanging around Lauretti? When will it end.

  11. It would be great to have Stew Leonards in Milford. They also do so much
    for the community, where they build.

  12. The person who said "who wants a megastore in their backyard"is full of bull. First of all Stew's site isn't that close to anyone. Certainly it was less of a threat to the Orange homeowners than the damn post rd. Give us a break with your phony comment. You must have been a Clem supporter. The post road is one big megastore so haw was Stew's such a threat Bozo?

  13. I hope Stew Leonard's is built in Milford and the biggest Orange Stew Leonard opponents get their wish. They had said they would rather see a prison built on the Orange site than a Stew Leonard's. Bring on the prison. I can think of some politicians that could live there, and I could shop at Stew Leonard's in Milford.

  14. Don't people realize how much traffic Stew Leonard's would bring? Route 1 is already a gridlock in front of the Mall. With Stew Leonard added into the mix, it would be virtually impossible to drive anywhere around there, especially on weekends or holidays.

    Believe me, I lived in Norwalk many years ago. I loved the Stew Leonard store (and especially their soft ice cream stand ... their soft pistachio was great) but my wife & I would have to walk 1-1/2 miles from our apartment because taking the car was impossible!

  15. Again, Orange fully approved Stew Leonards. The wetlands approval was overturned. He could have reapplied and repaired the defect in the application but chose not to. The Cinema site is not large enough for his operation. A more likely user would be Big Y. Of course, Stop & Shop would fight that. and Shoprite wouldn't be too happy either.
    Frankly, while the Stew Leonard Norwalk store is always busy, I find Danbury not as much, and Newington, not at all busy. I believe that is the reason he gave up on a store in Orange.

  16. I certainly don't have the answer to what should be at the old movie theater location however, I will be surprised if we get another grocery store. I can't believe that the demographics would call for a third major grocery store within a mile or so of each other. Personally, I think another grocery store there would hurt Shop Rite (and I know thats business) but I would hate to see that happen. Since Route 1 in Milford has become known as "auto row" wouldn't that be a good location for a major car dealer showcase and repair shop? Just one mans opinion.


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