September 22, 2021

With coronavirus a focus, here’s why Danbury made an exception for a drive-thru business

DANBURY – Drive-thru windows were a convenience well before the coronavirus crisis made it complicated to leave the car and walk into the store.

Today, drive-thru windows are likely more popular than ever as workers try to keep their social distance from customers while still doing business in the era of COVID-19.

But when a downtown pharmacy saw office space open up that had a drive-thru window, there was a problem. Danbury doesn’t allow drive-thru windows for restaurants or retail stores in the heart of the Main Street corridor, in what’s known as the central business district.

“We don’t want to open the door for a lot of fast food restaurants,” said Danbury Zoning Enforcement Officer Sean Hearty.

So Main Street Pharmacy applied for special permission to the Zoning Board of Appeals, promising to use the drive-thru window only for prescriptions and medications.

File photo - Dr. Jack Yeung, left, and Dr. Jean Jacob, right, at the grand opening of Main Street Pharmacy, on Sunday, March 7, 2010.

The ZBA agreed in August, clearing the way for Main Street Pharmacy to relocate from its current location at 151 Main St. to the former location of Sikorski Credit Union at 345 Main St. as soon as Friday.

“We’ve never had a drive-through before, and I don’t know how much impact that will have on our business, but I am sure it will be used by customers,” said Neris Coronel, the administrator at Main Street Pharmacy.

An attorney who helped the pharmacy get special permission for the drive-thru agrees.

“There’s a lot more people using drive-throughs at pharmacies now,” said attorney Thomas Beecher.

The rare approval of a drive-thru in the central business district comes as spread of the coronavirus in Danbury is not as severe as it was a month ago, but still not declining as much as health officials would like.

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