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West Hartford Business Buzz: February 14, 2022

The Spot has recently opened at 10 North Main St., Suite 304. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

I’m writing this on Super Bowl Sunday – which means I’m trying to finish writing earlier in the day than I usually do so that I will be able to watch the game without worrying about working during or after the game.

In the column I wrote on Super Bowl Sunday in 2021, I noted that on Super Bowl Sunday a year earlier my sister and I had visited our dad in Delray Beach, Florida. That was just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down, and for months he had no visitors at all in the nursing home where, at the time, he had recently been admitted and where he still resides.

They allowed visitors again in late 2020, for 30 minutes at a time once a week – and when they had positive cases they closed down visitation. While his wife, who is a short drive away, has been able to visit when possible, not only was I apprehensive about getting on a plane during the pandemic, but I was afraid I would get to Florida and then not even be able to see my dad at all.

Two years later, almost to the date, Ted and I got away a quick trip to Florida, and had a chance to visit with my dad all four days that we were there. Our reunion was wonderful, and even though at age 90 he has very limited mobility and minimal short-term memory, we all very much appreciated the chance to spend time together. We talked about old times – which he does remember – sat out in the courtyard, and went through photo albums that we have been creating and sending him, including an album from our daughter’s wedding last summer.

It was great to see my dad after 2 years of separation.

I admit I was also afraid to see the changes that have taken place in my dad over the past two years, but now I am glad to see that he’s happy, and being well cared-for. I’m also glad I conquered my fear of traveling during the pandemic – which at this point I admit was somewhat irrational because I have been eating inside restaurants all along, and have been attending in-person meetings and interviews.

I definitely don’t mind being masked on a plane, and other than a quick bite in between flights at the Charlotte airport, we ate absolutely ever meal outside during our Wednesday through Saturday trip.

I’ve always loved palm trees! Photo credit: Ted Newton

I make no secret of my disdain for winter and cold weather, and a chance to spend time in the warmth and sunshine, to be surrounded by palm trees, to sit and read on the beach even if it was just for a short time, was a much-needed mood booster. It was raining and in the 60s when we arrived Wednesday afternoon, but it cleared up by evening and each day got warmer and warmer. But then I kept adding layers over the tank top I started off wearing Saturday morning, arriving home when it was in the high 30s. Sunday was quite the rude  – and unwelcome – awakening!

There was plenty of news that happened while I was gone (of course there was … including the news that West Hartford Public Schools will become mask optional, likely at the end of this month depending on the vote of the state Senate today), so it wasn’t a work-free break, but all worth it.

No dinners out in West Hartford to feature this week, so I am sharing a photo of the Chicken Tinga tacos I had at a restaurant called Los Panchos Tacos & Tequila in Lake Worth, the town where we stayed. One of my friends commented on social media that the food photos I shared didn’t look any different than what I eat in West Hartford. (The food and the margaritas were delicious, and indeed very similar to what I might have here, but were served outdoors in February, and no heaters or greenhouses were needed.)

Chicken Tinga taco at Los Panchose Tacos & Tequila, Lake Worth, FL. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The universal indoor mask mandate was lifted in West Hartford as of Thursday, Feb. 10. (Click here for the details.) Some business owners may still ask that their customers wear masks, and I hope people will comply and not give our business owners and their staff a hard time about it. Really. Please continue to look out for each other, support our local businesses – and stay safe and healthy.

If you have information to share about local businesses, please provide details in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].


Here’s this week’s Buzz:

Nellie Roethlein (left) and Erica Loureiro. Courtesy photo

  • Businesses owned by Nellie Roethlein and Erica Loureiro have been merged, and the combined business – The Spot – offers makeup and aesthetics and other services for healthy skin, “from within beauty,” from the sunny space they moved into last month, which offers a great view of West Hartford Center at 10 North Main St., Suite 304. Even though she was physically located in Watertown, Roethlein, a makeup artist, said she had been working with photographers in the West Hartford area and had also previously worked at Bluemercury at the corner of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road. When she decided to relocate her business here, she brought her friend, and now partner, Loureiro, who is an aesthetician. They are already spending lots of time out and about in the Center, networking and making connections with potential new clients, to add to their existing clientele. “All my regulars followed me here,” Loureiro said. In addition to offering makeup application, including for special events like weddings, Roethlein, who favors a look that emphasizes natural beauty, educates her clients and helps them choose appropriate products. “We do personal makeup shopping. I walk to Bluemercury with my clients and we come back for a lesson,” she said. “I promote healthy skin – enhancing, never masking,” Roethlein said. Loureiro has the same philosophy, with a focus on “soft glam,” she said. Her facials are “results driven,” she said, and utilize medical grade products. She also utilizes a Hydrofacial machine, which cleanses the skin and painlessly takes care of extractions. (Clients can even see at the end what has been removed from their skin!) She offers chemical peels that don’t involve downtime, and also sells skincare products from IS Clinical and SkinBetter Science. Clients range in age from their 20s to 60s, and treatments and makeup are customized for their needs. “A lot of clients in their 20s and 30s have acne from wearing masks,” Loureiro said. “More mature women have difficulty finding makeup routines that work for them,” noted Roethlein. Everyone should feel beautiful, both agreed. They also offer group lessons, ladies’ nights, and have a service called “the Spot experience,” which offers 30 minutes with each practitioner. Their website is still under construction, but services can be booked directly through Instagram (@tsthespot) or by calling 860-491-8136 or emailing [email protected].

Education area at The Spot, 10 North Main St. Courtesy photo

Treatment room at The Spot, 10 North Main St. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Skincare products are also for sale. Courtesy photo

Lighting is available for photo shoots at The Spot, 10 North Main St. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

View from the window of The Spot at 10 North Main St. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • BrightStar Care, a home care service, has moved from 924 Farmington Ave. to a long-vacant space above Jerry’s Artarama at 1105 New Britain Avenue. Their services include care of seniors as well as children, transitional care, and other personal care needs. For more information visit their website.

BrightStar Care has moved to the second floor above Jerry’s Artarama, 1105 New Britain Ave. in Elmwood. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • The Town Council will hold a public hearing on March 22 on a proposal that will update the Special Development District for Prospect Plaza, at 245 Prospect Ave. One of the reasons for the requested change is to accommodate a DashMart “micro-fulfillment shop” for DoorDash – an operation that was not permitted because it didn’t even exist when the SDD (the town’s 11th) was established back in 1966. DashMart has a lease for 5,000 square feet at the eastern end of the strip shopping center, in space that has been vacant for years. Planet Fitness is also looking to open in the vacant Hibachi Grill space on the other end of the center.

DashMart is looking to open in a long vacant space at Prospect Plaza. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • GOLFTEC (1146 New Britain Avenue) is celebrating their fifth anniversary next month! “The West Hartford center has been recognized for many GOLFTEC awards and participated in many community events and fundraisers during that time,” franchise co-owner Michelle Souza said. According to Souza, GOLFTEC recently launched a new wireless, sensorless technology, OptiMotion, and also offers new methods of custom club fitting. For more information, call Dave at GOLFTEC at 860-222-2299 to set up a session and meet the coaches, who all help people play better golf.

Garrett Hickey (left) said getting properly fitted for clubs by Dave Souza at GOLFTEC (right) in conjunction with looking at the mechanics of his swing with each club, has already made a major difference in his game. (we-ha.com file photo)

  • I am taking a risk sharing this before I have personally had a chance to listen to it, but Episode #39 of the Feeney Talks with Friends podcast, which I recorded with Eric Feeney last week, is now live. You can watch on YouTube below, and/or listen through this link.

  • West Hartford Center-based YHB Investment Advisors, Inc. is excited to welcome Hillary Landen as an assistant portfolio manager. Landen previously worked at investment firms in Northern Virginia. She has passed the Series 65 exam and obtained her BS in Finance from Longwood University in Farmville, VA. Landen will primarily work remotely from her home in Virginia, and she will also be in our West Hartford Center office on a regular basis. We are excited to have her join our YHB team.

Hillary Landen. Courtesy photo

  • ICYMI, the West Hartford Greater Together Community Fund is looking for more members to help award and manage its grant program for nonprofits. Click here for details.
  • As noted above, the Town of West Hartford has lifted its universal indoor mask mandate for most businesses and public spaces. The complete story can be found 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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