Just under 4 months ago, I began to work on documenting the history of a large chain that attempted to make an impact in Connecticut and Rhode Island. However, that history was just a blip in the radar, and soon afterwards, they left locations in the dust, and let them sit vacant for a decade. That chain is coffee and donuts giant Tim Horton's. What started as a new and exciting chain in the area ended as a forgotten piece of history in an already interesting area for retail of the past. Today I'm going to show you some of the remnants that Tim Hortons left in Southeastern Connecticut when they left, and how the properties are holding up after 10 years of vacancy, in this Retail on the Thames special post.
Before I show you the vacant and repurposed locations that I was able to document, we need to know the short history the chain had in the area. In summary, Bess Eaton, a Rhode Island-based local coffee and donuts chain with a pretty popular local following, closed all of it's locations in 2004. Shortly after, Tim Hortons opened up in almost all of the closed locations with the help of their former parent company Wendy's. Just a few years later, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, Tim Hortons had closed all of its Connecticut and Rhode Island by November 10th, 2010. Bess Eaton was able to recover some of the locations they lost, but these were only a mere few of what the chain had left behind. The rest of the location were either repurposed by other chains, or were left abandoned. Now let's take a look at some of the locations that were a forgotten part of retail history.
Location #1: North Stonington