Billy Grant, the chef/owner of Restaurant Bricco in West Hartford Center, said the brief closure is necessary because the kitchen floor must be replaced.
By Ronni Newton
If you don’t see the lights on at Bricco on Jan. 21 or for a few weeks after that, don’t be alarmed.
Bricco is rarely empty of diners, and is one of the few restaurants in West Hartford Center that’s open for both lunch and dinner, seven days a week. They continued to do a brisk business and never closed during the pandemic, which was a time that many restaurants used to do updates or renovations.
Chef/owner Billy Grant said the restaurant is in need of kitchen maintenance, and he has no choice but to close for a few weeks. The closure, which will begin on Jan. 21, will be temporary but can’t be avoided because they need to replace the kitchen floor – including the sub flooring – and that necessitates removing all of the kitchen equipment and then putting the kitchen back together. They are also replacing the pizza ovens.
“We’ll also do a little bit of a freshen-up out front,” Grant said, but while he wants to keep the details quiet so as not to spoil the surprise, it won’t be a dramatic change.
Bricco, which opened in 1996 at 78 LaSalle Road, celebrated its 25th anniversary in January 2021, and is the longest-standing restaurant in West Hartford Center. (Arugula opened in May 1996, Elbow Room and Luna Pizza opened in 1997, and Max’s Oyster Bar opened in 1999.) In an interview for an article about the 25th anniversary, Grant said that when he first opened, the restaurant was considered “edgy” – and in retrospect the opening of Bricco sparked the transformation of West Hartford Center into a foodie destination.
Prior to Bricco’s opening at 78 LaSalle Road, that space was briefly a restaurant named Alforno Ristorante. Before that, the space was home to the LaSalle Shop, a clothing store for children and young adults, fondly remembered by some longtime West Hartford residents as the place with the stalactites on the ceiling, and where they went to get their back-to-school clothes.
Permits have already been issued by the town, and crews are ready to begin the work after next weekend. Grant said he intends for Bricco to be back open by Valentine’s Day, and is hopeful that will be achieved.
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