A 180-year-old historic Wilton building may soon become home to a brand new cafe and restaurant next spring. The developer of Sharp Hill Square at 200 Danbury Rd. has filed a special permit application with the town asking officials to allow a cafe/restaurant to open on the first floor of the historic Raymond-Morehouse Building on the property.

The proprietor hoping to open the cafe is Felipe Pelaez, who owns Tazza Cafe on Main St. in Ridgefield. His Wilton restaurant will be a new concept aptly called “Nova Cafe,” melding a business that Pelaez knows well with what he hopes will feel like a very community-oriented destination.

“It will be definitely very similar in the operation, maybe a few different products but very similar with high quality coffee, high quality products, with everything prepared on the premises. Freshness is main for me, healthy breakfast and lunch,” he told GOOD Morning Wilton.

Pelaez said what makes it unique will be the location. “That beautiful historical house and being able to do something in [it] that also brings a lot into the space, and will make it a little bit different from Tazza.”

The adaptive reuse of the historic Raymond-Morehouse structure was part of the reason the Sharp Hill Square project received unanimous approval in 2020. The mixed-use development has seen an anchor tenant — Wilton Hardwaremove into one large retail space and many of the residential units are leased as well. Nova Cafe would be the second commercial tenant if approved.

The first public hearing on the application is scheduled for the upcoming Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Monday, Jan. 9.

Bob Jewell is the attorney from Donnelly McNamara & Gustafson, PC that represents 200 Danbury Rd. developer Patrick Downend and will be handling the special permit application in front of P&Z. He agreed with Paelaez that a cafe is a perfect option for adaptive reuse of the property and that the community will approve.

“If you’re going to show off adaptive use, there’s no better way than to invite them in for a cup of coffee,” Jewell said.

Pelaez said he was really excited to be locating his next venture in Wilton.

“I have a lot of customers from Wilton. I’m very, very familiar with Wilton. I have supported and sponsored events in the schools, and I have kids that that work with Tazza from Wilton. They always tell me, ‘You should offer some something in Wilton.’ I think Wilton is very similar in the community, like Ridgefield, and, you know it’s just so community oriented, which is what I love the most about Wilton,” he said, adding, “This spot is perfect.”

Monday’s P&Z meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is available to view live on Zoom.

11 replies on “Application Filed for New Cafe at 200 Danbury Rd.’s Historic Raymond-Morehouse Bldg.”

  1. Hello,

    I write with my commentary on the proposed cafe for 200 Danbury Road.

    We have enough cafes, coffee houses in Wilton: that I can count we have

    Tusk and Cup

    Rise Doughnuts

    Uncle Leo’s


    Connecticut Coffee

    Why do we need another? Perhaps there is a better use for that space? A small town only needs so many coffee shops

  2. Very excited to see a cafe coming to this location. Most of the current coffee and food options are tucked away inside Wilton Center or located further down on Route 7 where traffic is busier–neither of which are particularly convenient for quick stops. Additionally, our town needs more healthy and casual lunchtime food offerings (i.e. more $10-$15 sandwiches, salads and bowls rather than more $20 hamburger platters). Glad to see more coming to this development as this stretch of Route 7 is ripe for further development.

  3. Ahh some progress. Hopefully P&Z will allow it to come to fruition without too many hoops to jump thru

  4. I am pleased to see that this new cafe/restaurant is coming to the Raymond Morehouse building. The location is so convenient, and visible to travelers on Danbury Rd, which should bring in in more business. Anxious to see it!

  5. If you look at the Tazza Cafe menu, it’s pretty boring and conventional: definitely coffee, sandwiches and some “acai bowls.” Why not a real restaurant. We have too many coffee shops already. This offers little to distinguish itself.

    1. Exactly. This is no different that what is already in town. Too much of the same thing. A better use for the space could be perhaps a bar or another type of restaurant.

  6. This is exactly what we need! Very excited to have another cafe-especially Tazza!! Us coffee lovers want coffee/cafe food any time of the day at multiple locations. Yes, we still love and support our already thriving coffee shops in town but this will give us yet another location to meet up with friends and enjoy what we love most-coffee!!!

  7. A cafe with healthy breakfast and lunch options…this is great news. A hopeful sign that there are more small business owners to come, that view Wilton as a town where they can thrive. We do not have anything like this in our town and I think it will do great!

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