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New future for former Sailor Ed's, Holly Wreath Christmas shop in Mystic

Mystic — A Pawcatuck man wants to renovate the former Sailor Ed's restaurant and provide space outside for six arts and crafts vendors.

Meanwhile, across Old Stonington Road from Sailor Ed's, Densmore Oil Co. is proposing to demolish the Holly Wreath Christmas shop and construct a two-story building to house its offices, which are now located on the Groton side of downtown Mystic, and two apartments upstairs. Densmore has an oil delivery depot on an adjacent lot on Old Stonington Road and the project is designed to centralize its operations in Stonington.  

Both projects need special-use permits from the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission, which will schedule public hearings.  

Located just east of the Big Y off Route 1, Sailor's Ed's had a long run beginning in 1924 into the 1990s.

With varnished wood floors, light pine paneling, fireplaces and nautical decor such as life rings and fishing nets, the restaurant, owned by Chet Godomsky, was billed as "the Shore Dinner House of Distinction." It was popular with locals and tourists.

That was then followed by a series of new owners before the last tenant, the Tongue and Groove nightclub, shut for good about 15 years ago. It has been vacant since. It is owned by the Papas Group of Bedford, N.H.

On Wednesday, George Secchiaroli said he is keeping his options open for the sprawling Sailor Ed's building but envisions a 100-seat restaurant — 150 fewer than in the past — or some type of mixed use. He said he does not yet have a tenant. He does not need PZC approval for any restaurant renovation because it is an allowed use in the zone, but will need a special permit for outdoor vendors on a planned lawn, which has not been a previous use of the property.

He said he has just moved to the area from Massachusetts and saw potential in the building, which he said is not in bad shape.

The application states a restaurant would operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and vendors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The outdoor vendors plan also is being reviewed by the Stonington Board of Police Commissioners.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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