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West Hartford Business Buzz: August 13, 2018

Interior of Song Restaurant. Courtesy of Sally Zhu

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

By Ronni Newton

As I write this it’s Sunday – day three of my vacation. I turned on my computer this morning for the first time since I left before dawn on Friday morning, and that feels pretty good.

My daughter just said that I am probably glad it’s not a very nice day, because I’m not wasting good beach time sitting in the house working. It’s kind of true that I wasn’t so upset when we woke up to thick clouds and some rain on Sunday morning. It is, however, brightening and I have hopes for at least a beach walk this afternoon.

Brant Point lighthouse, Nantucket. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

My stress level dropped Friday at the moment I viewed Brant Point lighthouse – draped with an American flag that it has been sporting since Fourth of July weekend. We were in our bathing suits and on the beach as soon as possible. On our first night, the entire family, including the kids’ significant others (except son-in-law-to-be Matt, who is having a great time in Europe with some buddies) got together to celebrate my in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary.

The good thing about taking vacation at the end of the summer is that it’s something to look forward to all summer, but the bad thing is that it means that summer is closing in on its end and as soon as we return we will be in back-to-college/grad school mode for our kids, and West Hartford’s events calendar will once again be jam-packed with things to cover.

In the meantime, although I may not be physically in West Hartford for the next 10 days, We-Ha.com won’t miss a beat. Thanks to the support of Creative Director Joy Taylor, and fabulous interns Ryley McGinnis and Maddie Geerlof, and members of the community who gladly contribute photos, we’ve got you covered. (And thanks also to my sister Debbi who is taking care of things at my house!)

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:

Interior of Song Restaurant. Courtesy of Sally Zhu

  • I had corresponded with Sally Zhu before last week’s column, but there was a bit of a misunderstanding based on a text she has sent me about the opening date for Song Restaurant. The restaurant, which passed its final health inspection last week, is actually opening this Thursday, Aug. 16, at 74 LaSalle Rd., the space formerly occupied by Labrazel Home. Song is the latest venture for Zhu and her husband, Xingyu Huang, of Dynasty Cuisine Group LLC, who also own Shu Restaurant in the Shield Street Plaza in West Hartford and Han Restaurant – Connecticut’s first hot pot restaurant – at 310 Prospect Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Damon’s Tavern just over the line into Hartford. Zhu said previously the name for the restaurant, “Song,” is derived from the Song Dynasty, during which Chinese cuisine began to encompass the variety of types of foods for which it is still known today. While Shu is Szechuan – and has developed a great reputation for the authenticity of its menu – Song will not feature quite as spicy a menu. The menu will feature dim sum, noodles, dumplings, and wontons. Look for a feature story coming soon, and updates that will also appear on the restaurant’s website.

    Jenny and Michael Sinatro. Courtesy photo

  • Congratulations to Michael and Jenny Sinatro on the opening of their new business, as well as on their birth of their son just the day after the business launch! The Sinatro Company is a residential real estate brokerage, founded by broker/owner Michael Sinatro, who is a fourth generation West Hartford resident and real estate professional. Along with his wife Jenny, Sinatro said he “is thrilled to have the opportunity to build upon the Sinatro family real estate values and services which have been a part of our community for over 65 years.” The Sinatro Company is located in West Hartford Center – in one of the buildings that the family previously owned – at 62 LaSalle Rd., Suite 213. Anyone with questions can contact Info@SinatroCompany.com or call 860-400-2560.
  • Seen on Facebook last week: West Hartford resident Xiomara Chincoya has formed a new business called Frida on the RoadOn the Neighbors & Friends in West Hartford Facebook page, she posted the following message: “I cook authentic tacos, burritos, guacamole, and more … for all type of parties and events. I’ll bring my grill and everything anywhere. Free chips and salsa. Great references!” Anyone interested in contacting her can send a message through Facebook.

    Courtesy of Pepe’s

  • Pepe’s has launched a retail tomato line called “Genuine Italian Tomatoes,” that are being sold in its restaurants as well as stores, including locally at Big Y. “Our guests come from all over the world to experience the genuine taste and quality of Pepe’s pizza, which includes the handpicked ingredients we use to thoughtfully craft our pies,” Gary Bimonte, grandson of Frank Pepe and director of quality assurance & training, said in a news release announcing the product. “We’ve always taken the time to find delicious ingredients and we take pride in knowing our customers are able to experience Pepe’s in the palm of their hands. We’re thrilled to bring a special Pepe’s tradition to homes across the country.” Cans are $3.50 each, and three-packs of the cans are also available for $10 on www.PepesPizza.com.
  • Blue Plate Kitchen is holding an event that runs from 4 -9 p.m. today (rain date Aug. 14). During the “Stuffed for Good” patio party (patrons can also dine inside), Blue Plate Kitchen will donate 20 percent of the bill to Beyond the Basics, an Urban Alliance initiative that assists churches and other organizations “reach and serve people who are lacking food, clothing or housing so they meet their basic needs and gain greater stability in their lives.” RSVP at bit.ly/GSFG18 or call 860-986-6051.
  • Congratulations to West Hartford resident John Gallagher, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Hartford, who is among the six recently named to the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford.
  • One piece of sad news this week is that Goldberg’s Gourmet has confirmed that it has officially closed its doors for good in Blue Back Square. More to come soon about renovations planned to enhance the New Britain Avenue location.
  • Also closing its doors is Max & Lily’s Closet, which will be relocating from 262 Park Rd. to a much larger location at the corner of Farmington Avenue and Prospect. According to a Facebook post, the West Hartford location will close on Aug. 25, and the new location should be open the first week of September. There are sales going on now to clear out inventory, and a “giant pre-season sale” on winter merchandise planned for the opening of the new space.
  • ICYMI, a comprehensive (and very long) article with pretty much everything you ever thought you would want to know about the recent history and plans for the future of the former UConn campus was published this past week. Click here to read all about Fintech Village!
  • Pho 135 opened its door last week at 135 South Main St., and has been getting some great reviews! Click here for details.
  • More than a quarter of those named to Hartford Business Journal’s prestigious “40 Under Forty” Class of 2018 either live or work in West Hartford. Click here to see who has been included this year.
  • Finally, don’t miss a chance to join FLOW (Future Leaders of West Hartford), at the organization’s cornhole tournament/fundraiser for The Town That Cares Fund and West Hartford Food Pantry. Details are available here.

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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We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

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