CLIFTON PARK — A new Stewart’s Shop will open next week at the intersection of routes 146 and 146A.
The shop will officially open Dec. 13, though there will be a ribbon-cutting on Dec. 20 that will include free coffee, ice cream and a discount on gas purchases.
The previous Stewart's at the Route 146 location closed in September. The new store was built on an adjacent lot that was previously home to Zen Hair Salon, which moved to a new location on Main Street. Stewart’s is using the combined parcels for the larger store and new gas pumps.
The company's expansion strategy is three-pronged, according to spokeswoman Maria D'Amelia. Sometimes, Stewart's will build stores in new locations. Other times, it remodels old stores with new floors, counters and sometimes a new layout or an addition. The company also frequently tears down stores and builds new ones on the same or nearby parcels.
The rebuilt Clifton Park store will be just over 3,000 square feet and will feature six gas pumps, with 12 fueling stations. The store will also offer fresh pizza, a make-your-own sub sandwich station and a new soda fountain station, which Stewart’s added in response to customer requests, D’Amelia said.
The new store will also include more food and merchandise choices, an outside dining and patio area and a larger parking lot aimed at stabilizing traffic flow in and out of the property.
Typically, Stewart’s aims to avoid closing stores during renovations, D’Amelia said. Closure was unavoidable in the case of the Clifton Park store, however.
Overall, Stewart's Shops spent $50 million on store upgrades in 2017, with 30 shop remodels, 12 replacements and two brand new stores.
Most recently, a Stewart’s opened on Burgoyne Avenue in Hudson Falls. Another opened on Saratoga Avenue in South Glens Falls in October. The Clifton Park store is the last to be constructed this year, according to the company.
Some of the newer Stewart’s buildings are larger than earlier shops and feature more modern exteriors — getting away from smaller, brick-faced stores for which the chain has been known.
While specifics could not be provided, D'Amelia did confirm Stewart's Shops hopes to continue its expansion into 2018.
"We have a number of similar projects that we are looking at for next year and working through the planning and approval processes at this time," she said.