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Bishops Corner Blue Back Square Business Elmwood Park Road The Center

West Hartford Business Buzz: April 2, 2018

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will be the first business to open in The Corbin Collection. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.

By Ronni Newton

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all who celebrated holidays this past weekend! I was so happy to have my nest full, with both kids here – as well as my daughter’s boyfriend, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

This happy daffodil opened on March 28, and has been joined by a host of others – and none of them want to be covered by snow! Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Sunday was April Fool’s Day, and that’s what I’m thinking the forecast for snow Monday morning must be – a bad joke. It’s spring. The daffodils are blooming (this photo was from Wednesday, and I now have about 20 daffodils in bloom), the grass is really turning green, and we all want to be outside without snow boots and down coats. C’mon Mother Nature, cooperate.

The inaugural We-Ha-HA comedy show was held on Tuesday at World of Beer in Blue Back Square, and it was so much fun! I had to skip out a bit early to cover a Town Council meeting, but got a chance to see most of the show. More comedy is likely on tap based on the success of this show!

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:

Progress is rapid now as the Corbin Collection is being completed. Signs for Saks Off Fifth and REI have been installed on the building. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • The Corbin Collection is one of the biggest new developments in West Hartford in years, and even though it was mentioned in last week’s column, work is now proceeding at such a fast and furious pace, visible progress is so rapid, and we have some more details about openings so I thought it was deserving of top billing this week. The feature photo above is of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, where the sign went up last week on both the front and side of the building. The store will be opening on April 19 – just 17 days from now. And while Saks is the first store to open, and not far behind will be REI with an April 24 opening date, the newest piece of big news, the news that many have been waiting for, is … Shake Shack is having its grand opening and ribbon cutting on April 24 at 10:45 a.m.!! Mary Rottler, Executive Vice President of Leasing and Operations at Seritage Growth Properties, the owner and developer of the shopping center said in an email that the project should be substantially completed by the end of this quarter, and she provided the following statement: “We are excited to welcome the diverse mix of leading retailers and restaurants that will be joining The Corbin Collection this spring including REI, Saks OFF Fifth, Buy Buy Baby, Cost Plus World Market, Shake Shack and more. This revitalized property is ideally situated in a strong retail coordinator that attracts shoppers from the surrounding counties. The Corbin Collection is an excellent example of our ability transform formerly single-tenant buildings into multi-tenant retail destinations that are relevant to the communities they serve.”

    Yoga From The Heart opened in West Hartford Center on March 24. Courtesy photo

  • Now open in West Hartford Center – Yoga From The Heart. Resident Diane Couture opened the community-based yoga studio in the heart of West Hartford Center, at 21 Brace Rd., and held a grand opening on March 24. Yoga From The Heart offers a variety of yoga experiences – heated and unheated, beginner through advanced, Sculpt, Yin, Restorative, Community, and more. A studio introductory offer for 30 days of unlimited yoga is available for $30, and information about other programs and class schedules are available on the website. You can also find out more on their Facebook page.
  • London Signature Facials, which was featured in this column last year, is planning a move from Bishops Corner to Blue Back Square on April 14. “The new location affords you with a peaceful treatment room and a comfortable consultation and waiting area, plus a convenient locker room for those days that you may need to get ready for an appointment or lunch after you see me,” wrote business owner Claire Hodkinson in an email. London Signature Facials will be sharing space with The Fitness Continuum at 20 Isham Rd., in a boutique personal training studio with a health-drive environment. There is also an onsite massage therapist. “It is a bespoke personal studio with fabulous calm energy,” Hodkinson said.
  • While we’re on this zen roll, more yoga news is that the Hebrew Center is offering three free chair yoga classes: on April 6, Sept. 7, and again on Dec. 7. “This is great for those who have always wanted to try yoga, but felt their age or illness was a barrier. During these classes those who attend will learn how to safely practice yoga from the comfort of their chair! Practitioner Elizabeth Gibbs will be leading the one hour class. All ages and abilities are welcome to attend. There will be complementary snacks provided following the class,” the Hebrew Center said in an email. RSVP is required due to space limitations, so contact Rebecca Sears at 860-523-3991. “If you can’t attend one class, come to the next, or better yet come to all three! We’re really excited for this event and hope to see a great turnout. Come down to try chair yoga!”

    The sign has been installed at the soon-to-open Pho 135 at 135 South Main St. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • A few weeks ago in this column we brought readers the news of Pho 135 planning to open at 135 South Main St. (former South Main Pizza space), and work is moving right along, most visibly with the sign installed this week. Owner Tiffany Nguyen recently treated me to a taste of her signature banh mi, and it was fantastic! I can’t wait for this opening, and will provide an update as soon as the date is scheduled.
  • Welcome to Serenity Hair Salon, which recently moved from Bloomfield to 100 Park Rd. in West Hartford! Economic Development Specialist Kristen Gorski said that Serenity took the space formerly occupied by FourteenG, a creative marketing agency that has expanded and moved across town to new quarters at 1052 New Britain Ave., next door to the Corner Pug.
  • Another new business to open in town is West Hartford Counseling and Wellness LLC, 1t 998 Farmington Ave. in the Center, which is owned by West Hartford native Grace Meyer, who provided the following information in an email: “I offer trainings/consultation as well as individual and group psychotherapy and have immediate openings available. I am a Connecticut Licensed Professional Counselor and an active member of the American Counseling Association, the Connecticut Counseling Association, and Postpartum Support International, with advanced training in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I have extensive experience providing individual, group, and family therapy in a variety of clinical settings including community mental health agencies and college counseling centers. I use an integrative approach in my work, drawing from modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, interpersonal therapy, and mindfulness based treatment strategies depending on the individual needs of my patients. My areas of expertise include working with anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship conflict and loss, and the college age/emerging adult population. My strongest area of clinical interest is providing support to women and families during pregnancy and the postpartum period. As the mother of a young daughter myself, I understand the challenges of parenting and am passionate about helping others who may be struggling. In addition to offering individual appointments, I will be running pregnancy and parent support groups at a reduced rate this spring. For more information visit the website, email [email protected] or call 860-200-3978.
  • Coming soon to Bishops Corner in West Hartford is SDSS Martial Arts which will open its 15th location at 772 North Main St., the lower level of Crossroads Plaza (behind Big Y). According to the website, SDSS, which has been in business for 40 years, is: “Known for its family friendly culture, fun and creative events, and caring staff, students from pre-K through their retirement years make their martial arts home with SDSS. Whether you’re looking for self discipline and focus for your child, or fitness and self defense for you, the Kung Fu journey can change your life. Contact us to schedule your free lesson!

    Toys R Us in West Hartford has a going out of business sign posted now, and everything is at least 30 percent off according to the sign in the window. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • When I said I was sad about Toys R Us closing my kids reminded me that I always complained about going there (true), but it still makes me sad to see a longtime retailer going out of business. The “going out of business” signs are hanging on the buildings of Toys R Us in Corbin’s Corner, as well as Babies R Us right down the street, which I just recently learned is partially located in West Hartford. The Toys R Us sign said that everything is now at least 30 percent off.
  • There’s plenty in the ICYMI department this week, including that the Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Economic Development Luncheon on April 26 at Wampanoag Country Club. I will of course be there to cover this “Business Buzz comes to life” event, but it’s open to the public and is a great opportunity for networking. Details can be found here.
  • Also ICYMI, the lease has been signed and construction is underway for The Rockledge Grille, the new restaurant which will be operated by Beachland Group at Rockledge Golf Club. Click here for more information.
  • A draft of the vision statement for the UConn West Hartford campus was presented to the Town Council’s Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Economic Development last week. The full Council will review the vision statement at an upcoming meeting. Click here for 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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