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West Hartford Business Buzz: December 28, 2015

A new pizza place will soon occupy this space at 32 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

I hope that all who celebrated had a very, merry Christmas! We wish all of our readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, too!

It’s been a pretty quiet week, but we still have some tasty surprises in this week’s Business Buzz.

As mentioned in last week’s column, we will only publish a Monday newsletter this week. Of course if there is any breaking news to report, we will be sure to send out a special edition. We will still be updating the site with new content during the week – including a recap of the top stories of 2015 – so please check back on a regular basis even if the newsletter isn’t prompting you to do so!

Beginning next Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, people will be back to work and school, and we anticipate having lots of news to share so we will return to our regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule.

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:

A new pizza place will soon occupy this space at 32 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A new pizza place will soon occupy this space at 32 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Who likes pizza? The answer is that pretty much everyone likes pizza, and West Hartford Center will soon be the home to a new pizza place! Dante Cistulli, who is currently the manager at Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford Center, is partnering with Rich Rosenthal and the Max Restaurant Group to open a new pizza restaurant at 32 LaSalle Rd., in the space between Jos. A Bank and the Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan that has been vacant since Camille Bridal closed in early 2013. “This is my dream – it’s been my dream most of my life,” said Cistulli. He said his grandmother taught him to cook as a child, and he has been making pizza and cooking in restaurants since the age of 15 and had his first management job at age 18. Now at age 33, Cistulli is incredibly excited about his new venture and collaboration on what will be the tenth restaurant in the Max Group. Cistulli said the pizza will be a “cross between Neapolitan and artisinal,” and made in a brick oven. The restaurant will have a small menu, and will also include a focus on cured meats, craft beers, and a fabulous selection of Bourbon. Cistulli said he is envisioning an Italian restaurant like you would find in New York City, with large windows open to the street. “There are some other pizza places [in the Center] but nothing like this will be – which is the whole challenge to do it differently,” Cistulli said. “I learned to make pizza at Naples Pizza and I definitely owe a big part of my success to Kurt Kruczek for providing an environment for me to be myself and learn much more than just food.” Cistulli said the restaurant should open in July, and he feels pretty good about that timeframe. As for what the restaurant will be called – they’re still making sure the planned name won’t violate any existing trademarks so it can’t be disclosed quite yet.
  • Another popular West Hartford eatery will be branching out. Although we aren’t able to provide many details yet, we have confirmed that Hartford Baking Company plans to open a second location. Rumor is that it’s in West Hartford Center, but all we have been told for sure is that the owners have been looking at spaces for a while and are waiting for some final details before announcing their plans.
  • Do you have New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day plans yet? We invite any restaurants offering special New Year’s deals or menus to post that information in the comment section below. Besito (46 South Main St.) already sent us an email informing us that they will have a special New Year’s Eve a la carte menu and a New Year’s Day brunch from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., with a special 2 for 1 margarita offer from noon to 3 p.m. Call (860) 223-2500 of visit www.besitomex.com for more details.
    The new Walgreens store at 674 Farmington Ave. opened Nov. 20, 2015. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

    The new Walgreens store at 674 Farmington Ave. opened Nov. 20, 2015. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Somehow this escaped a mention in Business Buzz when it happened: After operating the pharmacy out a trailer for months, the new Walgreens at 674 Farmington Ave. (corner of Prospect) opened on Nov. 20.
  • ICYMI: Additional parking spaces have been added at the Elmwood CTfastrak station, and DOT and other officials held an officially ribbon-cutting last week. More spaces at the West Hartford location will be completed in January, and additional capacity is coming to other stations as well. Click here for the complete story.

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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  • Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford will be open for New Year’s Eve with a special menu, live music, and champagne toast at midnight. They will also be open on New Year’s Day for brunch with $18 bottomless mimosas.

  • Effie’s Place will be open on New years Eve until 9pm AND New Year’s Day serving ALL menu’s until 2pm. We will have breakfast specials and Memosa’s too!

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