A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
I confess that I am writing this column from my happy place.
I’m with my family in Nantucket for a much-needed vacation, spending some downtime with my husband, both kids and their significant others, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and nephew (missing my niece who had to return to Virginia just before we got here), and my mother-in-law and father-in-law.
The good thing about taking vacation at the end of the summer is that it’s something to look forward to all summer, but the bad thing is that it means that summer is closing in on its end and as soon as we return we will be in back-to-college mode.
Although I may not be physically in West Hartford for the next 10 days, We-Ha.com won’t miss a beat. It’s a rather slow time for news, and there aren’t many events taking place, but thanks to the support of Creative Director Joy Taylor, and fabulous interns Gillian Hixson and Jackie Palermo, and members of the community who gladly contribute photos, we’ve got you covered. (And thanks also to my sister Debbi who is taking care of things at my house!)
If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please provide that information in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
Here’s this week’s Buzz:
- I’ve been purposely driving by the Delamar West Hartford Hotel for months, taking detours just so I could check on the progress, snapping photos out the window of my car (note to West Hartford Police – ignore that last statement) as the project nears completion. In the past month I’ve purposedly drive by at least a few times a week, because the work is now finishing up at a rapid pace. Vegetables and herbs are growing in the garden outside what will soon be Artisan restaurant, landscaping is in place, and furnishings are being delivered. Stay tuned for news about the grand opening sometime in the next few weeks. My most recent photos can be found below!
- West Hartford-based Work in Progress Fitness, which already has a studio in West Hartford and Avon, opened its third location on Thursday on Pratt Street studio in downtown Hartford. In a news release, owners Mary Kate Doyle and Laura Keever said, “This will be the only gym of its kind in the Downtown area. WIP Fitness offers 50 minute boot camp classes lead by experienced and passionate coaches. The class starts off with a group stretch, then you dive into core work, and a ramp-up to get your heart racing. The daily circuit is programed utilizing a variety of equipment including but not limited to kettlebells, battle ropes, medicine balls, resistance bands, and jump ropes. All classes are suitable for all fitness levels – NO One Is Left Behind.” The boot camp-style classes are intended to be “less intimidating and more personally empowering,” the business partners said. Excited to open in downtown Hartford, Keever said, “We are all a ‘work in progress’ and it’s been exciting to watch the city of Hartford progress, develop and grow and we wanted to be a part of that.” Doyle added, “The Hartford community has welcomed us with open arms and we look forward to being part of its unique vibrancy.” WIP Downtown offers classes Monday through Friday at 6 and 7 a.m., noon, and 4:45 and 5:45 p.m. A Saturday class will be held at 8:30 a.m. The facility includes fully-equipped locker rooms for men and women. For more information visit the website www.wipfitness.com.
- Tax Free Week begins next Sunday, Aug. 20, and runs through Aug. 26. Purchases of clothing and shoes, for adults and children, that are less than $100 per item will not be subject to the 6.35 percent state sales tax. Tax Free Week is intended to provide some relief to those shopping for back-to-school items, but note that it only applies to clothing and footwear – and that does not include specialized footwear like cleats. Backpacks and school supplies are also excluded and subject to tax. Students returning to college should be aware that if they have a valid college ID their college textbooks are exempt from the state sales tax throughout the year. Click here for details on the Department of Revenue Services website about what is and isn’t included.
- Cook and the Bear has been open for less than a month at 50 Memorial Rd. in Blue Back Square, but already has some new offerings! Happy Hour – and Reverse Happy Hour – were instituted last week. Happy Hour (3-5:30 p.m.) and Reverse Happy Hour for the night owls and industry people who get off work late (10 p.m.-midnight) includes discounted wine, beer, and cocktails as well as a variety of small plates. Follow Cook and the Bear on Facebook or visit their website for more details.
- Sad business news of the week: Old Crow Vintage is closing its West Hartford store at 485 New Park Ave. at the end of August, and moving to Tolland. Check their Facebook page for details on when the store is open and what the store-closing deals are.
- ICYMI: Congratulations to West Hartford resident Jonna Gerken, the new president of the Society of Women Engineers. Gerken was installed at a ceremony last week. Click here for the full story.
- ICYMI: The latest on Los Imperios. Click here for the details.
Remember, if you have any business news to share, add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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