A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
The weather was rather miserable this weekend – but thankfully there were plenty of great events in town to make up for it. I am a bit sad that the shorts and flip flops I was wearing just over a week ago in Puerto Rico seem to be a distant memory, and I do have a few daffodils which are ready to bloom if only it could be sunny and warm for a few hours. Maybe later this week …
My husband and I were among the horde of people at New Park Brewing’s grand opening on Saturday. The line was out the door early in the day, but when we arrived closer to dinnertime it was packed but the wait was reasonable. Thankfully we had the foresight to bring home a growler, so we enjoyed some more delicious local beer on Sunday evening!
I might not have left the house on Sunday (low 30s and damp is not my kind of weather) except that I really wanted to photograph Johnny’s Jog for Charity. It started to rain right as the race was about to kick off, but the runners and walkers were still all smiles in their support for a non-profit named in honor of a little boy, Johnny Moran, who also had a great smile. Johnny’s Jog raised about $70,000 this year for three local charities. Click here for the story and photos.
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:
- The feature photo for this week’s column may not reveal much about the lead story, but what about this photo? Renovations at the Marshalls in Bishops Corner (Edens Bishops Corner Shopping Center at 333 North Main St.) have been ongoing, and the reason is … the store is turning into a combo Marshalls and HomeGoods! The stores are both divisions of The TJX Companies, Inc., which reported in a news release that “following the remodel, this combo store features a common entrance with two distinct store environments on either side of the building allowing customers the added convenience of shopping both stores.” A grand opening will be held on Thursday, April 6, beginning at 8 a.m. Approximately 15 additional full- and part-time positions will be filled due to the addition of HomeGoods to the Marshall Store, TJX stated.
- Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen (991 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center) is in the final stretch of preparing to open, and DORO Restaurant Group COO Scott Miller said a late April early May opening is planned. The restaurant will be so authentically Mediterranean that Miller and DORO owner/founder Dorjan Puka traveled all the way to Israel as part of their research and to immerse themselves in the cuisine and culture. According to Miller, restaurants they visited include: Machneyuda (Jerusalem), HaKosem (Tel Aviv), Old Man and the Sea (Jaffa), Miznon (Tel Aviv), and Ramesses (Jaffa). “We look forward to sharing our findings with our great guests in the soon-to-open Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen,” Puka and Miller said.
- Taste of Bishops Corner is almost here! The event is Wednesday, March 29, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and will include great food from Koma Japanese Steakhouse, Panera Bread, Harry’s Bishops Corner, The Crown Market Café, Abby Dabby, Blue Plate Kitchen, and the Pond House (featuring food from Zest280), and drinks from Maximum Beverage. There will also be chair massages courtesy of Massage Envy – and entertainment! Click here to order tickets.
- Lux Bond & Green will be celebrating “ALL types of love” on Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1, and owners hope to see “many, many happy couples” for the Best in Bridal Weekend wedding band event. The event will be held at the West Hartford location (46 LaSalle Rd.) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. This is more than just a sale, and there will also be refreshments, prizes, a raffle, and more – like the chance to win tickets to a Red Sox game and the Lady Gaga concert at Fenway! Click here for the details. If you can’t make it to the store, the Best in Bridal Weekend is also an online event.
- According to a news release, “Matthew Sheary, a former USAF Sr. Airman and now real estate sales professional in West Hartford, has joined The Miale Team at Keller Williams. ‘We are honored to have Matthew Sheary join us here at The Miale Team at Keller Williams,’ said Matthew Miale, CEO of The Miale Team at Keller Williams. ‘Keller Williams offers its associates unparalleled career growth and lifelong learning opportunities in the real estate industry. We are looking forward to Matthew sharing his knowledge and professional expertise of the Connecticut Real Estate Market and know that Matthew will be a great fit for The Team. We know that it will be our customers who will truly benefit from Matthew joining us.'”
- There were two major business openings last week, including the long-awaited launch of West Hartford’s very first craft brewery! There was a long line formed even before New Park Brewing, located at 485 New Park Ave., opened its doors at noon on Saturday. The grand opening weekend continued on Sunday, with another successful day for the new business and some very happy beer fans. (The Cloudbreak IPA and Hopiary are already top picks in my house!) As of now New Park Brewing is only open weekends (Friday 4-10 p.m., Saturday noon-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-5 p.m.). Click here for the details!
- Also, ICYMI, Hartford Baking Company officially opened its second location at 965 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center on Wednesday. The West Hartford Center location has a bit more of a “savory” focus, with a greater selection of breakfast and lunch options than customers will find at the original New Park Avenue space – which is still open. Owner Scott Kluger said there are plans to obtain a license to serve beer and wine, and once that happens Hartford Baking Company will add later evening hours (they close at 7 p.m. now) and small plates. Click here for the complete story!
- Finally, Colt has emerged from bankruptcy and will be adding approximately 100 jobs as the company purchases its West Hartford property on New Park Avenue and expands. Colt Manufacturing will be receiving a $10 million loan from the state, and details were announced in a press release from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office on Friday afternoon.
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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