Former CT clothing store to be transformed into specialty market. It’s part of a broadening array of cuisines

Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant

A new market specializing in South Asian cuisine is slated to come to Bristol inside the former EbLen’s clothing store on Farmington Avenue, according to the city.

The owners of Desi Spice LLC filed a building permit application on May 10, according to the city’s Building Department. The application would allow the new owners to conduct renovation work, including building out a kitchen and shelving space.

The applicants, listed as Mahesh Sanakkayala of South Windsor and Pradeep Ravella of Vernon, are also the planned owners of the market. Mahesh also owns Spice Town Indian Grocery in Vernon.

Though Asian American Pacific Islanders make up less than 6% of the state population, the group represents one of the fastest growing communities in the state, according to data from the 2020 Census.

EbLen’s, which occupied the space at 1290 Farmington Ave. for decades, closed its doors last year. The company announced its liquidation in July 2023 and that all of its 51 stores would close.

Founded in New Britain in 1949 by friends Ebner Glooskin and Leonard Seaman, the business had stores in four other states at its peak.

The specialty grocery market, if it comes to fruition, will be opening in a high traffic retail corridor along Route 6 near Walmart. There are nearly 30,000 vehicles per day that travel along the busy roadway, according to city data.

New England Retail Properties, a company that specializes in retail center leases and sales, is representing the owner of the building. Located in the same building on the other side of the former EbLen’s space is a Noble Nails & Spa, Jamaican Kitchen and laundromat.

“The property is now 100% leased and hopefully the town will cooperate with their application so they can get open in the next 90 to 120 days,” said Matt Halprin, Chief Operating Officer with New England Retail Properties. “We’ve had several interested parties in that property for the last six to eight months, but it’s just a question of qualifications, experience and timeframes.”

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