A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
I was having one of those stressed out Sundays, thinking about all of the stories I really need to write, the presents I need to buy, the rest of the decorating that still needs to be done.
The Christmas tree is now in the house (we waited for one kid to help pick it out, but couldn’t wait for both), but it is still completely devoid of lights and ornaments.
The kids are now home studying and although both are going back to UConn at the end of the week for a few days of finals, I need to start stocking the refrigerator again in preparation for having a full nest for the next month.
And it’s cold. And it’s snowing.
None of these are bad things (except maybe the cold and snow), and I’m really not complaining – just admitting that I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
But then two happy holiday things completely turned my day around.
The West Hartford Symphony Orchestra had its Holiday concert this afternoon. There is nothing like beautiful music of the season to lift one’s mood.
And then my daughter came home from volunteering at a Christmas tree farm – with the cutest little tree ever. It’s still naked, just like our big tree, but I can’t wait for the family to decorate both trees Monday night!
Deep breath, and time to enjoy the sights, sounds, light, music, and spirit of the holiday season. And maybe even enjoy a bit of snow.
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:
- INDIA Restaurant & Bar will open this week at 54 Memorial Rd. in Blue Back Square! The much-anticipated restaurant from celebrated Chef Prasad Chirnomula, a veteran of the Food Network’s “Chopped” and owner/chef of Thali, Thali Too, and Oaxaca in New Haven, as well as INDIA in New Canaan, will open at the end of this week. INDIA Restaurant & Bar will emphasize locally-sourced farm-to-table ingredients with cuisine from all four regions of India. Look for details and photos later this week in a complete feature story on We-Ha.com.
- The unique holiday pop-up store, which is being called “We-Ha Pop-Up,” will open on Friday, Dec. 16 in the former White House/Black Market location at 69 Memorial Rd. in Blue Back Square. HALO portable power, West Hartford Soda, and #WEHAEVENTS 2017 will join the Vineyard Vines We-Ha clothing, along with other vendors still to be revealed. “For one week, Friday, Dec. 16 through Friday, Dec. 23, the We-Ha Pop-Up store will provide unique gift opportunities just in time for Christmas and Chanukah,” said Tom Hickey, one of the organizers of We-Ha Pop-Up. The We-Ha events booth will include a special opportunity to pre-order tickets, save money, and guarantee a ticket to the four “Taste of” events in 2017 that have traditionally sold out. “Our hours will be unique and extended in to the evening to provide shopping opportunities during times of the day when most local retailers are closed. We are looking forward to providing unique selection and hours of operation to suit your busy lifestyle,” Hickey said.
- The Space Salon Suite located inside of Salons by JC (333 N Main St.) opened for business on Dec. 1, and is a full service private salon suite. Owner Krista Deprey Shirley, has been a national educator for Paul Mitchell and has traveled the country educating and training with the industries top educators and stylists. She specializes in custom coloring such as balayage, foil work, and precision haircutting, and is joined by highly skilled stylist Lily Marie Johnson, who has been featured in publications such as Modern Salon Magazine. Both stylists also are certified in extensions and also love bridal and special occasion work. The Space Salon Suite has a cozy and rustic feel, and the intimate setting allows for maximum client attention, without having to share your time with other clients. The Space is also 100 percent kid friendly. “As a mom of a toddler, I understand how hard it is to find time for yourself, and bringing your children to a standard salon environment isn’t an ideal situation. Here you at least know they aren’t inconveniencing any other salon guests. It takes away some of the stress if you have to bring your child to your appointment knowing they are in the same room,” Shirley said. You can also bring dinner, play your own music, have a cup of coffee, and truly relax, or bring a friend and have the Space just for the two of you. To book an appointment with Krista or Lily, call 860-502-2629 or visit their booking website www.vagaro.com/thespacesalonstudio . Mention this article to receive 20 percent off your first service.
- One sad piece of news to report this week is that Backstage Pizza at 968 Farmington Ave. (Brace Road parking lot) has closed. A sign posted on on the door over the weekend reads: “Backstage is now closed. We would like to thank you sincerely for your patronage, your support, and friendships over the years. It’s been a great 7 years. Peace and blessings.” A reader told me about the closing and when I went to check it out and read the sign, I ran into Steve Ryan, who owns Backstage with his wife, Gin. He said they are in the process of selling, and details will be forthcoming soon. “We will miss everyone who came in. We will miss the town,” Ryan said.
- Green Man Tattoo is moving from 207 Park Rd. to 1145 New Britain Ave. in Elmwood. According to Facebook, the new location will have an opening celebration at the new location on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.
- Lisa Walsh Howard has opened a new shop on Park Road! STAY on Park is located at 298 Park Rd., right below Hartford Stitch, and according to the Facebook page is the place to go for “unique and interesting home items” as well as painted furniture and creations from local artists. Merchandise is old, new, repurposed, and Howard says – fun!
- Noble & Co., West Hartford’s new “speakeasy” located at 43 LaSalle Rd., opened for dinner two weeks ago but has now added brunch and lunch to its offerings. Follow the restaurant on Facebook for more details.
- Congratulations to West Hartford resident Mark Ojakian! On Thursday the Board of Regents for Higher Education announced in a news release that it had voted to extend Ojakian’s employment contract as president of the Connecticut State College and University System (CSCU) for an additional three years through Aug. 31, 2010, and to remove the “interim” designation from his title. The CSCU system oversees twelve community colleges, four state universities, and Charter Oak State College. “We are making great strides in fostering productive relationships and drawing upon the talent across the system to inform our approach to the challenging times before us,” Matt Fleury, chairman of the Board of Regents for Higher Education said in the release. “Mark Ojakian is the leader to move us forward together through a period of necessary but beneficial transition, with opportunity for students and our state as our highest priority.”
- ICYMI, a longtime West Hartford business will close its doors for good at the end of the year. Sedgwick Cleaners, which has been in the Gordon family since 1983 and owned by Dana Gordon since 1998, will close on Dec. 31, 2016. Items can be dropped of for cleaning through Dec. 16, but after that Gordon said the business will remain open for pick-ups only.
- One last mention is not quite West Hartford news, but close enough and there is a connection. According to Page Six, Tipsy Girl, which originally looked to open in the former Cuvée space in West Hartford (where Maruichi just opened), will open in Hartford in late January. Page Six doesn’t specify the location, but we have learned that it is the former Majorca space, just over the line at 2074 Park St. Majorca closed in April after a brief stint in the space that was previously O’Porto. Tipsy Girl is owned by Sonja Morgan and former Cuvée Managing Partner Peter Guimares, who both appear in “The Real Housewives of New York City.” Page Six reports that the plan for the restaurant to open in New York did not work out, so now the plan is to open in Hartford and then Miami.
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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