Colony Grill to Open on Harrison's Property

The Colony Grill owners offer a few possibilities about when the restaurant's Downtown Milford location may open.


After years of speculation and quite a few false starts, a deal has been struck for a new business to occupy the : Colony Grill, the popular pizza restaurant and bar, who have locations in Fairfield, Stamford and Avon, are bringing their thin crust recipe to Milford.

"It has been a process," said Bob Gregory, the Director of Economic and Community Development for Milford. "[Harrison's] owners have been looking for a restaurant. I've been sending them leads I've gotten." Gregory went on to call the property a "hot spot."

Preserving Harrison's

In an email regarding the announcement, wrote, "I’ve met with the owners of Colony Grill and they are committed to preserving the local charm of the property."

Colony Grill co-owner Ken Martin reiterated that point, saying, "We're going to preserve as much as possible and take input from the town."

Colony co-owner Chris Drury added, "My partners and I love the history of the space," noting that they are excited about the restaurant's proximity to "the beautiful Milford harbor."

When Will Colony Grill Open?

When asked about the opening of Colony Grill, Martin said, "Best case, 4-6 months, up to a year," noting that the business needs to get the approval of the appropriate city bodies in Milford before construction can commence.

Kevin Stagg June 26, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Wow! It's great to see something new FINALLY coming to Harrison's, but the timing is unfortunate since a new pizza place just opened up (Milford Green Pizza). I SMELL PIZZA WARS!
Christina Durham June 26, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Ugh, another pizza joint. Is there any creativity in the restaurant business? Milford Green Pizza just opened last month a few doors down from Harrison's. I guess I'll take anything other than the dilapidated shell that currently occupies that space, but really...how much pizza can one town eat?
Angus June 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Kimberly June 26, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I remember when there were only about 2 places for pizza in Milford.
James Kelly June 26, 2012 at 08:57 PM
About time something - ANYTHING - opened in that space. I used to work in Stamford and went to the original Colony many times. Love the different and unique style. Can't wait for it to open.
Baby Love June 26, 2012 at 09:09 PM
This is not your average pizza place! This stuff is good!! Very exciting for downtwon.
Angus June 26, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Also. Kudos to Mayor Blake for making this happen.
Christina Durham June 26, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Milford Green Pizza owners...I sincerely share your concern. I cannot imagine how difficult the restaurant business must be, but this cannot be welcomed news, and the timing is horrendous. Not your fault of course, but I would strongly recommend differentiating yourselves over the next 6-12 months. I wish you all the best over the next year. I really want to see you succeed.
arkay June 26, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I don't like their pizza (I'm a New Haven pizza fan), but this is really, really good for downtown. This will draw a lot of people from all over. These places are very popular. The Fairfield one has a nice bar too.
Deirdre June 26, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I am so excited! Colony is the best pizza around and to have a new bar in town is key! Let's cross our fingers it goes through!
Bobby ddd June 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
This is breaking news...not...terrible choice...a joke. .fail
KW June 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM
how about soda shop, milk shakes, grilled cheese, BLT's, juke box, booths like Happy Days....FUN
arkay June 27, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Sorry, I think you're wrong - It's a pretty important piece of the downtown and therefore the entire city.
Juniormints June 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Good news! Best Wishes to all downtown businesses! I am from the Midwest and miss thin crust pizza!
Rick June 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM
This pizza place is very popular in Fairfield County. Friends and family have been gong to Colony for years. Very exciting news for Milford! Now we just need to get some retail stores in the downtown area and there will be enough customers for both pizza places!
RONALD M GOLDWYN June 27, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Last week I was in Yalesville looking for a place to have a premeeting dinner, and aside from one seafood restaurant and all I could find were pizza restaurants. I must have passed over 8 places and finally ended up in one that was more than just pizza. I don't know why every community is able to support so many Italian style restaurants but it does. We have a sizable Italian population here in this city and I've always wondered why this ethnic group goes out to Italian restaurants where they can get the same fare at home. I can only assume that we can say goodbye to the old wooden Harrisons Hardware building with its historic side mural. It will take a new building to bring it up to present building codes. such is life as we make progress. Now we may have two restaurants each requiring adequate off-street parking sharing the same parking lot. Our government boards will need the wisdom of Solomon to find the solution. Yes it is good to know that a business is willing to open in downtown Milford, and I will credit our Mayor if and when Colony becomes a reality.
arkay June 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I don't think there is such a lack of street parking that it will be an issue. West of Harrison's there's always plenty of spots. People will park at the library for this if they have to. Although if Colony does open, it may bring more interest in downtown, and maybe a parking garage will finally be built.
JP June 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Grew up on Colony pizza in Stamford and have been to the Fairfield location opened by Chris Drury and his crew -- they do an excellent job, the new location has been packed, and the pizza is as good as the original in Stamford. I feel bad for the folks who just opened the new Milford Green pizza place. If this is a pizza war, they will get crushed by this business. Strongly agree with the other post above that they should use the next 6 months to differentiate their menu to change their focus away from pizza -- much like Pop's Donuts changed to more of a family restaurant and survived after Dunkin Donuts had to move in across the street.
Amy June 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Mr. Goldwyn, Wow! I can't believe I just read what you wrote! First, there is still controversy over the origins of pizza and the usual form is hardly Italian food. Second, it's quite offensive that you not only think that only Italians go to Italian restaurants, but you also assume that anyone with Italian heritage must cook Italian food at home and has no reason to go out to one.
KT June 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Milford Green Pizza does a lot of other things than just pizza. Plus - they deliver. Colony does not deliver and it's a little more of an older crowd with a great bar. I think Milford Green Pizza will be ok. And to comment about retail stores in downtown - THERE ARE RETAIL STORES HERE! And 3 other leases have been signed recently for more retail stores. We don't need any chain retail down here, leave that to main street. (post road)
KT June 27, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I can not believe your ignorance. Pizza is just as ethnic in this country as the hamburger. There is a lot of italian places around because it tastes good and people of all backrounds like to eat it. And why is it so hard to believe that italian people eat italian food in or out of their home? Your comments are wrong on many levels. You obviously have no idea what colony pizza is about or who the players are that are involved. This is a big deal and it will become a reality - thanks to the mayor and bob gregory who fought hard to make this happen.
RONALD M GOLDWYN June 27, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Dear Amy, No I don't think that ONLY Italians go to Italian restaurants, nor do I feel that only Chinese go to Asian restaurants. As for home cooking, I do get many pasta dinners in my home, but I never feel that I'm eating Italian, after-all the Italians (via Marco Polo) learned pasta making from the Chinese (Lo-Main, [Wheat] from Northern China, and Rice from Southern China) According to statistics, Milford's population is over 51% Catholic with the majority being Italian, Irish and Polish. I don't think I'm prejudiced, but when I go to an Asian restaurant and see many Asian patrons, I feel that the restaurant is producing fine Asian fare. This is because I can see the racial identity of the patron. As for me, I would love to see a local Kosher restaurant, but that is a rarity in this nation. If we scan the telephone directories under restaurants we find that there are more Italian style restaurants that any other catagory and most have been in business for many years, meaning they all enjoy public support.
arkay June 27, 2012 at 07:51 PM
A few popular specialty chains would be great (think Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, REI, Eastern Mountain Sports - businesses that compliment the downtown flavor) because they serve as anchors that bring more foot traffic into downtown and help all the businesses. Just like Colony will do. If you look at it like competition is bad, the downtown will never succeed. Colony won't harm Milford Green Pizza's business anymore than a Crate & Barrel would harm Ocean's Spray, or REI would harm Tony's Bikes. That kind of view is what keeps downtowns from thriving. Btw, what are those 3 leases?
KT June 27, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I agree that there are some chain stores that could potentially compliment downtown but what's so different about Milford is we have many of them already on the post road and in the mall it would be nice if downtown stayed more specialty or designer. The three new stores that are coming to downtown is - archer apparel (already open) Baby Love (old mood swings) and Bags on the Green (old TJ liquor. And don't forget about Frosty Twist (old dunkin donuts)
John Pasnau June 27, 2012 at 09:19 PM
7 - one for every day of the week
Rick June 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM
I absolutely agree with arkay, we need more retail shops to get the foot traffic that all these restaurants need to survive in our downtown! It is unfortunate that many small businesses have closed. It is time to bring some chain stores to downtown Milford. There are many chain stores that the Post Rd. does not have. We need a change to revitalize the downtown.
arkay June 29, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Yes, I can think of many: Pottery Barn Williams-Sonoma Restoration Hardware Crate & Barrel West Elm REI EMS Trailblazer Denali Nike Running J Crew Urban Outfitters Anthropologie That's just to name a few. None of those stores are represented in the entire region and would benefit from being here. I bet if a parking garage was in the works you'd see more interest from stores like that.
Vin July 01, 2012 at 11:59 PM
COLONY GRILL has the best pizza hands down. Since when is competition a bad thing? McDonalds and Burger King have opened up right across the street from each other for years. Competition is good for all business owners. I have no doubt that Colony will preserve what they can in Harrison's Hardware. Ultimately it's up to the Town as far as code as the site is so old. The owners of the Fairfield location are awesome and I have no doubt that Milford residents will embrace them.
arkay July 22, 2012 at 05:58 PM
What happened with the zoning hearing on the 17th? Is this moving forward?
Ryan Parry August 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM
colony will win that war quick and easy. Their pizza is amazing, the hot oil with stingers sooooo good. I used to drive all the way to stamford before they opened the fairfield location just for the hot oil pie


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