A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
I promise that I will stop
complaining talking about and writing about the weather once it gets to be really nice – like 72-degrees-every-day-San-Diego-nice.
Until then, I can’t help but use the intro to this column as my weekly editorial pulpit. I try to stay clear of political discussion, but I figure weather is safe especially since most people seem to agree that this past week was way too cold, and way too snowy (any snow in April is too much), and way too windy for comfort.
My son plays baseball for Conard, and they finally had opening day on Friday. I wore – no exaggeration – my down coat, a fleece hat, scarf, wool socks, boots, and mittens to watch the game. My husband scoffed when I told him that I brought hand warmers – which I buy in bulk for use when covering sporting events and other outdoor activities in the cold weather months. I used them on Friday, too, until I gave them to him after he lost circulation in most of his fingers.
My husband is convinced that this week will bring the return of spring, and props to him for optimistically putting our patio furniture back outside on Sunday. He also washed my car!
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:
- There haven’t been any new businesses opening in town this week, but that’s going to change in the next couple of weeks. All my “whining” about the weather is actually a good segue into the first two items in this week’s column since West Hartford has not one, but two new wine and spirit shops that are preparing to open. “Coming Soon” signs are up in the window at 1128 New Britain Ave. where Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits will be opening its second store in the space formerly occupied by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. An exact opening day is not yet determined, but according to sources it is planned for sometime in May. Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits currently has a location at 842 Farmington Ave. and is famous for its beer cave, and the new store will reportedly be similar but will be larger and offer a greater selection of wines and spirits in addition to a vast selection of beer. Harvest Country Store on Oakwood Avenue (across from Kennedy Park) is under the same ownership.
- Additional wine (and beer and spirit) options will be available at another soon-to-open store a bit farther down New Britain Avenue. Renovations have been ongoing at 1451 New Britain Ave. space where Total Wine & More will open in Corbin’s Corner, reportedly sometime in June. The façade of the former Office Depot is getting a facelift, as is the interior, to accommodate the superstore which according to its website stocks “8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world, including more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store. Total Wine & More is hiring (according to the sign), and there are a few jobs in the West Hartford store listed on the corporate website.
- Bar Louie has an opening date! According to an email from the marketing department, Bar Louie has its liquor license and the planned opening is scheduled for April 15. Tax Day is probably a good day to celebrate/drown your sorrows, depending on your financial situation.
- Another business that is planning to open later this year is STARR YOGA. “I’m so excited to bring STARR YOGA to West Hartford. I opened my first studio in Boston about a year-and-a-half ago and have been anxiously waiting for the right space to open in WeHa – which is my hometown, and where my dad grew up, too,” owner Julie Starr said. She said the studio will be offering yoga and barre classes, workshops, trainings, and retreats. “I’m aiming to open by June 1, but WeHa people can start taking our classes through our virtual studio starting May 1. We are one of the few studios nationally to offer live virtual classes where you can interact with the teacher.” The studio will be located at 276 Park Rd., diagonally across from the from Quaker Diner and a block away from the Playhouse on Park. The studio has an adorable mascot, Daisy, whose photo is found below. Follow STARR YOGA on Facebook for updates.
- A West Hartford restaurant was recently reviewed by the New York Times, and the “Very Good” review for Shu Restaurant was published just last week. “But more often, Shu delivers the special deliciousness that might make it your go-to place for your go-to dish. Give me a bowl of dan dan noodles, plus the rabbit appetizer and a plate of flaky golden scallion pancakes for mopping up the fiery oil. I’d do that again and again. In fact, I’m planning on it,” wrote reviewer Rand Richards Cooper. Shu Restaurant opened in 2014, and is located at 156 Shield St., in the Shield Street Plaza.
- Congratulations to West Hartford native Adam Greenberg! The Barcelona Wine Bar chef (currently working at Barcelona’s Washington, D.C. location), took home the top prize in the “Chopped Champions” series on the Food Network show last week. According to an article by Leeanne Griffin of CTNow, Greenberg will compete for “grand champion” honors, and a $50,000 grand prize, in the show that airs at 10 p.m. on April 26.
Remember, if you have any business news to share, remember to add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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