By Jesse Buchanan, Record-Journal staff
SOUTHINGTON – Cadillac Ranch plans to add a dining deck to its building off Interstate 84 on Jude Lane.
The country dancing hall and banquet facility wants more space for tables, increasing the dance floor area of its 1,000-person capacity building.
Graham Nicholson, Cadillac Ranch owner, said the deck will overlook the highway — and be seen by the thousands of drivers that pass by every day.
“That’s probably our best advertising and we haven’t utilized it much in the whole 30 years” Cadillac Ranch has been in business, Nicholson said.
The restaurant and dance hall used to have a deck in the back of the building but Nicholson said it was rarely used. He enclosed that deck to provide more interior space.
Nicholson applied to the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission to add a 12 foot by 48 foot deck to the west side of the building.
Robert Hammersley, commission chairman, allowed town planning officials to handle the matter rather than having a full commission vote during Tuesday’s meeting.
“I had no problems with him administratively working with the applicant to accomplish what they were going to do,” he said. Other commission members agreed.
Dave Lavallee, assistant town planner, said he foresaw few issues with the expansion plan.
“They had a previous deck but they enclosed it. This is just a bump-out,” Lavallee said.
Nicholson hopes to have the deck built by the middle of July. He plans to outline it in LED lights and decorate it.
There are few locations on the East Coast with as much space for country dancing as Cadillac Ranch, according to Nicholson. While the dance hall/restaurant are well known as just that, he’s also hoping to grow it’s recognition as a banquet facility for weddings and other events.
“We’re trying to make people realize it’s an event center as well as a country dance place. People walk in and say, ‘You couldn’t find a better place to do a country wedding or other types of things,’” Nicholson said. “We’ve never had that presence at all so it’s taken us a little bit of time to get recognized… That’s what we’re looking for.”
Cadillac Ranch was closed for a year and a half during the pandemic, although dedicated dancers used the hall’s parking lot for dances. Nicholson reopened in July 2021.
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