Thai restaurant to open on the Hill

Chestnut Hill will soon have a new Thai restaurant and another salon. Chestnut Hill’s retail recruiter revealed the news at last night’s community association meeting.

Opening in the coming months, Reilly said, are Thai-Kuu, a Thai-inspired restaurant opening in January, and Posh, a salon.

Eileen Reilly was updating the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Board on her progress in getting other businesses to open up on the Avenue.

Recently she has been showing businesses up to four times a week. What she offers to these business owners, she said, is the promise of a vibrant, thriving and unique business district that gives Chestnut Hill much of its charm and public image.

As part of her research and recruiting tactics, Reilly recently visited the business districts of neighboring towns, including some in South Jersey, to get a sense of foot-traffic on their business corridors.

Reilly offered more detail on the why attracting new businesses can take some time. She said one South Jersey restaurant owner spent six months looking for an ideal location and finally decided on Chestnut Hill. Board member Kristina Sullivan wondered if six months was a normal amount of time for a business to find a commercial property and complete the necessary steps to move in. Reilly replied that specifically for a restaurant six months is normal, but process for other businesses can be much quicker, sometimes as few as three months.

Reilly intimated that the perfect “targets” are businesses with three locations, indicating that these businesses have a model in place that is working, and would increase their chances of success in Chestnut Hill.  And, of course, the businesses should be ones that could potentially fit in Chestnut Hill.  As Reilly stressed, it is not merely issues of zoning, square footage and rent, but for a lot of business owners a major concern is location by association – e.g., who your neighbors are.

In other business news, Wendy Feldman owner of Spa Elysium, expressed that her business, which has been in Chestnut Hill for 12 years, is interested in expansion but needs community approval to include massage services within 600 feet of a church or residence. Feldman already met with the Development Review Committee, or DRC, and received approval for an application of use variance. The CHCA board voted and unanimously approved the motion. Feldman must now seek the city’s approval.

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