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West Hartford Business Buzz: December 16, 2019

The West Hartford Town Council will be considering a proposal amend the Special Development District in Corbin's Corner to accommodate a restaurant in the former Jared's space. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

I feel like the last week passed in a blur – several holiday parties, and much more news than one would expect at the end of the year.

While we did order our holiday card (everyone signed off on the photos this year) and have done some shopping, we aren’t anywhere near as organized for the holidays as I would like to be. Sam returned home from UConn Sunday afternoon, and we now have a Christmas tree in the house, but it has nary a light or an ornament on it yet.

Instead of decorating or engaging in any other holiday activities, I spent Sunday at my computer writing two of the articles you’ll find mentioned below as well as this column.

I’ve also spent a lot of time worrying about my father, who is currently hospitalized in Florida due to complications resulting from the Coumadin he takes for his heart problems.

Monday will be a jam-packed day, beginning with my monthly live version of Business Buzz on CT Live (11:30 a.m. on NBC Connecticut), swearing in of West Hartford’s new assistant police chief, and a Town Council meeting, but (I hope I don’t need to eat these words) the rest of the week should be a bit calmer.

One thing I want to mention before getting to the business news: I want to make sure readers know that while I actively pursue positive and heart-warming news, I won’t shy away from reporting hard news – which is much more difficult when it involves people that I know, or who are friends with my friends.

I don’t want to dwell on the specifics, but when the State Police, or the West Hartford Police or the West Hartford Fire Department sends out a press release, I don’t pick and choose which news to publish based on my relationship with anyone. To be fair, I report on all of them. And just because someone is “one of us” according to their friends and family, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t report on an incident based on the report received from the police or fire department. I don’t do this job because it’s easy, or pays well (it’s neither), but I do work very hard – and work very hard to be fair and impartial. It’s very upsetting to me when people imply otherwise, or call me a “reporter” (purposely and mockingly putting the term in quotes) and make all sorts of rude accusations on social media. The lack of decorum on social media these days, to me, is honestly so disturbing. If and when an incident is resolved through the courts, and it’s appropriate to share the “rest” of the story, I am committed to doing that. In addition if I write an article about an arrest, I am always willing to delete that article if charges are dropped or nolled and documentation from the court or judge is provided.

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:

  • The West Hartford Town Council will be considering an application by the owner of the Corbin’s Corner shopping center to make several alterations – including either the demolition of the now-vacant former Jared the Galleria of Jewelry building or the renovation of the structure to accommodate a 7,630 square foot restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining. The name of the restaurant has not yet been released, but the application will be received by the Town Council at its Monday night meeting and set for a public hearing. Also as part of the application is a request for “renovation of the center including but not limited to a redesign of the building facades; reconfiguration of the parking layout; installation of new landscaping, lighting and pedestrian amenities; changes to the sign criteria and conditions, construction of a 2,550 square foot addition to the rear of Trader Joes …” The proposal says that the applicant is looking to update this part of Corbin’s Corner to address parking issues near Trader Joes and Edge Fitness, and because a makeover is needed to be “more consistent with the tone and design-vibe established next door” in the Corbin Collection. Jared opened in February 2014 and closed in January 2019.

    The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at Lyons Complete Auto Repair Center at 1056 New Britain Ave. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Congrats to Lyons Complete Auto Repair Center on the ribbon cutting with the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Tuesday for their new Elmwood location! Lyons, which has operated the Phillips 66 gas station at North Main and Albany Avenue in Bishops Corner since 1979, bought the former Lou’s Auto Service building over the summer and at this time they have moved their operations to that location. The owner of the Bishops Corner location is currently making some upgrades to that building.
  • Congratulations to Catherine Yandow Davis, president of Bartlett Brainard Products Company Inc. of West Hartford, who was named Remodeling Contractor of the Year by the Remodeling Contractors Association-NARI CT CHAPTER at the awards dinner held at Eli’s on Main in Hamden on Dec. 5. The organization noted that Davis has been in the remodeling field for over 37 years and during that time has been active in NARI’s Connecticut Chapter as well as past president of the Home Design District of West Hartford and a member of the board of the Better Business Bureau.

    Henna tattoo. Courtesy photo

  • Salons by JC has announced that Romi Yonjan of Angel Touch Threading is taking advantage of the thriving West Hartford business climate by opening a second West Hartford location. Angel Touch Threading has had a location at 1123 New Britain Ave. for six years, but has opened another full service threading salon inside Salons by JC, in the Bishop’s Corner shopping plaza directly above Target and Marshall’s/Home Goods at 333 North Main St. The Salons by JC location provides eyebrow threading, eyebrow tinting, temporary eyelash extensions, and henna tattoos. For those unfamiliar with eyebrow threading, it’s “an ancient hair removal technique practiced for centuries among women in South Asia and the Middle East. Eyebrow threading is a practice of shaping the eyebrows using a cotton thread. The twisting action of the thread traps the hair and lifts it out of the follicle. Threading is a very gentle, sanitary, and painless way of removing unwanted facial hair. Unlike tweezing and waxing, the threading technique is precise, removing the short lines of hair,” Angel Touch Threading stated. Henna tattoos are non-permanent dying or staining of the top layer of skin using a henna paste product, used for cosmetic purposes and bridal henna nights are an important cultural custom among traditional families from certain parts of the world. Angel Touch Threading is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and walk-ins are welcome. Call 860-967-7604 for an appointment. “Puja and Urmila are waiting to provide you with world class service,” the news release states.

    Artichoke Pizza meatball pie. Courtesy photo

  • A franchise location of New York City’s famed Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, owned by Matt Rusconi (who is also owner of the Moe’s Southwest Grill franchise in West Hartford) officially opened last week in downtown Hartford in the former McKinnon’s Pub spot (114 Asylum St.), serving a menu filled with Artichoke Pizza signatures like the namesake Artichoke Pie, Crab Pie, Staten Island Pie, and unique-to-Hartford options like the Basille’s Build-Your-Own, salads, and more. The locally-based franchisee, Matt Rusconi, plans to introduce weekly events and daily specials to the menu in the coming weeks, aiming to attract a bustling crowd of XL Center event goers and those who live and work in the area, Artichoke announced in a news release. “We’re thrilled to be open in downtown Hartford so close to the XL Center and in the heart of the city,” said Rusconi. “We’re ready to serve hungry basketball and hockey fans, concert-goers, and those who live and work in the area. We know Artichoke will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood and to the city of Hartford as a whole.”
  • The Park Road Association’s toy drive, which has been taking place at multiple locations (see flier) within the Park Road area, will wrap up Tuesday morning at Effie’s Place when Brad Davis and Gary Byron will be broadcasting “Talk of Connecticut” live from 6-9 a.m. on WDRC. Toys will be given to the Chrysalis Center, and monetary donations for the Cove Center for Grieving Children are also welcome.
  • Congratulations to Robert Laraia, RFC, of Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC in West Hartford, who has been named a new director of the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants. According to a news release from the organization, Laraia “intends to support the IARFC through membership promotion with an additional focus on ethics and education.”
  • Several major business openings were the subject of dedicated feature stories this past week, including Frida, the authentic Mexican restaurant that opened Friday at 1150 New Britain Ave.  in the former Tapas location. Click here for the complete story and photos!
  • Edge Fitness will be opening this week in Corbin’s Corner. I got a sneak peek last week, and click here for the details and lots of photos of the new club!
  • Moppets Drop-In Childcare officially opens today on the campus of the American School for the Deaf at 141 North Main St. in West Hartford, and offering childcare on an hourly basis for up to four hours at a time. Click here for full 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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