New Stewart's Shops opening on Dec. 9


BENNINGTON — The new Stewart's Shops is on track to open in December, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

The new convenience store and gas station at 636 Main St. (Route 9) will be open starting Dec. 9. A grand opening ceremony is slated for Dec. 18, according to company spokeswoman Maria D'Amelia.

The new 4,000-square-foot building was built at the site of the former Betty Beaver's Fuel Stop. The new store will replace Stewart's existing location at 713 Main St., which is about half the size and 1,000 feet away.

D'Amelia said the new store will have a greater focus on food service.

"We're seeing a lot more people who want to run in for a quick meal throughout the day," she said. "Because of that, we're expanding our selection of 'easy food' that people can grab on the go."

The new store will have a larger counter area were people can buy a freshly made sub or pizza, she said.

"We'll also have more seating for people who want to have their food there," she said.

The new store was described as having a modern look, with gray siding on the outside and a charcoal colored roof, according to plans on file at the town offices. Aluminum storefront windows were constructed to resemble double hung windows.

LED lighting fixtures will be used, and the sign bearing gas prices will be externally lit.

The six gas pumps will be covered by a 20 by 69 foot canopy. The .74 acre site will hold a total of 18 parking spaces and have two curb cuts from Main Street.

Other site work included demolishing the old building, existing fuel dispensers and islands, in addition to the removal of underground storage tanks and an above-ground propane tank. A hedge between the Stewart's property and Mahar and Sons Funeral Home will remain.

It's one of 10 so-called "replacement stores" that the company began building this year, D'Amelia said.

"We look at each shop to base the design on the need of that neighborhood," she said.

The company has also retrofitted existing stores. But in this case, the company was able to acquire a piece of land to accommodate the store, she said.

D'Amelia said the existing store at 713 Main St. is slated to close on Dec. 8.

"We expect there will be a smooth transition," she said.

D'Amelia said the company is planning special events, including special offers, for the store's Dec. 18 grand opening.

The Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based company operates 332 stores in 31 counties in Vermont and New York. Ten of those stores are in Vermont.

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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