NORWALK, Conn. The remnants of Maria Migliaccio's former life have been turned to rubble an expected occurrence but sad nevertheless.
Sonny's Pizza, the Norwalk restaurant her father started in the mid-1980s, was demolished Thursday by City Carting workers. The building is on the site that is part of Phase 1 of Waypointe, a mixed-use development that aims to revitalize Norwalk, starting with a parcel bordered by West Avenue, Orchard and Merwin Streets.
Sonny's closed for good Dec. 20. Migliaccio drove by Thursday morning and saw the demolition beginning at the Orchard Street side of the plaza, the corner where her restaurant had stood. By late afternoon, all that stood of the venerable family-oriented establishment were three exterior walls.
"It's just a memory," she said. "It's sad, but they have to do what they have to do. We all knew this was going to happen; we just didn't know when. And now is when, so now it's just looking for a future, and to make more memories."
All the houses behind the plaza are gone, too, at least in the parcel owned by Waypointe. The only building left in the wasteland that was a neighborhood is Casey's Sheet Metal, which will remain as the new development is built around it.
Waypointe has been Stanley Seligson's dream since the 1980s. At the September groundbreaking, he said the mixed-use development might be unique to Connecticut. "This is different," he said. "This is really creating a neighborhood and a lot of the original businesses are being relocated. I think you're going to see stores that come to Norwalk."
Migliaccio said the developers behind Waypointe were nice to her. She thinks she might open Sonny's Takeout soon. She has a place in mind for her takeout pizza restaurant but needs to talk to her lawyer and finalize plans.