The supermarket would be constructed on Ryder's property at 29 Danbury Road, immediately north of The Cookhouse.
His plans are to lease the building to a high-end supermarket chain. Several companies have shown interest, Virbickas said.
"I promise you that anything being built next door will be complementary to The Cookhouse," Ryder said.
Virbickas said one interested party is Fresh Market, a Greensboro, N.C.-based chain with 115 stores in 21 states. The Fresh Market website says its stores "convey the atmosphere of an old world European market ... with an open-air feel and classical music playing softly in the background."
Fresh Market staff "happily carry groceries to your car," the website continues. There are Fresh Market stores in Westport and Avon.
The construction of an 8,000-square-foot retail building was approved by the zoning board for the 29 Danbury Road property in 1980.
However, that approval has expired and zoning regulations have changed since then, making that approval "a moot point," Zoning Commission Chairman Bill Taylor pointed out.
The newly proposed structure would have a 17,634-square-foot footprint with an atrium attached, expanding the building's dimension to 21,000 square feet, Virbickas said.
Some 500 vehicle trips a day are anticipated, with tractor-trailer delivery hours likely to be restricted in any possible approval given by the zoning board, Taylor said.
A parking lot to the rear of the supermarket would have 66 parking spaces and overflow parking would be available behind The Cookhouse. A total of 169 parking spaces on the two properties are proposed.
The Cookhouse property also has proposed upgrades, including paving of its parking lot and a sidewalk on the road frontage that would extend to the supermarket.
A large cottonwood tree next to The Cookhouse has to be removed, Virbickas said.
A March 15 report from Hissong & Weyant Tree Experts found the cottonwood had a large amount of decay and would become a hazard if left standing.