The announcement of a new restaurant in Mystic is hardly news, let alone of any note.
But a restaurant leasing out one of the prime spots on East Main Street, empty for almost two years in a high foot traffic area with twenty private parking spot, gives cause to really want to know a bit more.
Since 1995 it has housed more than a dozen retail shops, all failing or choosing to move elsewhere — a popular fruit and vegetable stand, well-known coffee franchises (two of them), a bakery and bagel shop from New Jersey, and more recently a high-end butcher shop and quality sit-down restaurant, Grass and Bone, backed by an able and enthusiastic local family from Stonington.
There were others, plenty of them.
Several months ago came an announcement of the impending opening of Pop Over Eatery, a full-menu breakfast and lunch spot directly across the from the U.S Postal Service and a block from the drawbridge.
On site from time to time, the owner, Pam Paydos, said “we have been doing this well for over ten years in Simsbury—and now living in Noank “our planning research, contemplating this move, showed that Mystic and Southeastern Connecticut shared similar demographics with Hartford and its western suburbs of Farmington, Avon and Simsbury.”
Beyond that, quite a few families from that area have bought property here, or were long-time vacationers who saw more than a few similarities between the locations and thought the Simsbury Pop Over Eatery could comfortably and successfully fit in with Mystic.
The Mystic location offers a wide choice of contemporary foods and ingredients — fruits and vegetables, bacon, corned beef and other meats, many locally-sourced, a wide range of waffles made gluten free, vegan plates and pop overs.
Paydos described her pop overs, which are made on the premises, as “a light bread made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding typically baked in muffin tins.”
A fresh buttered one with a bowl of soup can be had at a modest cost.
The coffee is a specially roasted by GIV in Canton — of the state’s best coffee roasters — for the Mystic store.
Paydos said she uses syrups, all organic, from Proper Syrups in California.
She told CT Examiner that she had “negotiated with the property owner for over a year to get the lease that [she] felt would fit [her] business plan.” The owner had previously attempted during COVID to use the 20 spots as a paid parking lot, collecting fees by credit card — a use that was frowned upon by the Town of Stonington, given that under ordinance no paid parking lots had been approved in that municipality.
Pop Over Eatery has also applied for a full liquor license.
“We want to be able to offer something for the now-much-sought-after ‘Boozy Brunch.'”
On several drive-bys by CT Examiner in recent weeks the parking lot has been full with very few vacant seats inside.