New store to create up to 50 new jobs for area

BARKHAMSTED — National chain Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will be opening a store at Mallory Brook Shopping Plaza in either March or April.
According to First Selectman Don Stein, the store will occupy the former spaces where Peebles and Fusion Zone Laser Tag previously occupied.
Peebles shut down in 2015, while Fusion Zone Laser Tag shut down in 2014.
“We are seeking new opportunities with new businesses in the plaza,” Mallory Brook Shopping Plaza owner John Senese said. “Hopefully with Ollie’s opening, we will be able to attract new tenants to fill in the remaining empty spaces.”
Over the past few years, several stores have come and gone from the shopping plaza: Radio Shack, Sears Hometown Store, Family Dollar, along with Fusion Zone, and Peebles.
According to Jerry Altland, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, the Pennsylvania-based chain will hire up to 50 employees once it opens.
The chain currently has three stores in Connecticut.
Meanwhile, the future looks questionable for Apple Cinemas in the shopping plaza.
A notice for the owners to quit possession of the property has been posted at the theater, which has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March.
Senese would not comment directly on the notice, but said that “because of COVID, we don’t know what’s going to happen with the entire movie industry or if cinemas are going to be able to operate anytime soon.”
The theater originally opened in November 1996 under Cinerom, then purchased by the Cinema Holdings Group in 2010 before it closed in October 2013. It was purchased by the Apple Cinemas chain in early 2015.
The theater’s Facebook page has not been updated since 2018.
Representatives from the company could not be reached for comment.

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