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West End’s Historic Spigot Café Lives On

Joe Grillo, permittee and co-owner in front of the Spigot. Submitted photo

New owner Joe Grillo, formerly the bartender at Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartord, and co-owner Ray Rossomando plan to preserve tradition while incorporating some new ideas.

Co-owners Ray Rossomondo (left) and Joe Grilllo at the Spigot bar. Submitted photo

Submitted 

For more than 50 years, the Spigot Café’s iconic fire-engine red building at the intersection of Prospect and Capital Avenue on the West Hartford/Hartford line has stood as the West End’s neighborhood bar, welcoming patrons from Hartford, West Hartford, and surrounding towns with its astounding selection of beers from around the world, great music and good fellowship.

A local institution since the Taylor family opened its doors in 1963, the Spigot’s fate became uncertain with the passing of Dave Taylor, Jr. last month. However, this historic neighborhood institution will continue to serve the community under new ownership.Local bartender Joe Grillo will carry on the Spigot’s tradition of welcoming locals, while introducing a new generation to the area’s famous neighborhood pub.

“Owning the Spigot has been a dream of mine – it’s the perfect bar,” said Grillo. “The Spigot’s history is rich with visits from famous athletes, governors, musicians, and local heroes, too. For over 50 years, people have said ‘meet me at the Spigot.’ We hope to carry that tradition on for 50 more.”

For the last 12 1/2 years, Grillo tended bar at Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartford, just blocks away from the Spigot. Coming out of the music industry, he started bartending 20 years ago. Spending years at ACE Bar and Manitoba’s on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Grillo decided to bring his experience and sense of community to the Hartford’s West End neighborhood in 2006.

Rebooting the Spigot will balance tradition with new ideas. The limited café snack menu will have new choices, however the popular bring-your-own-food feature will remain, enhanced with the addition of the Spigot onto the local food truck circuit. In addition to the Spigot’s signature feature of more than 100 beers from around the world and local breweries, patrons will also be able to purchase growlers and inexpensive glasses and bottles of wines that pair best with pizza, BBQ, and other favorites brought in by guests or on the Spigot’s snack menu.

The always-friendly Spigot vibe will be even livelier — a curated selection of music will always be playing in the background. Sports fans will continue to enjoy watching their favorite teams on numerous televisions throughout the Spigot. A jukebox will also remain an option for guests who want to shape the night’s soundtrack.

No longer cash-only – the Spigot will take credit cards. It will open at 11 a.m. every day, as well as bring back happy hours. Keeping tradition, everyone from all walks of life, will be welcome to share a conversation and have a good time.

The Spigot will honor the legacy built by Dave Taylor and his father.

“In the Spigot, the Taylors created the Heart of The West End. It will be my pleasure and duty to carry that on,” said Grillo.

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