Bishops Corner Business Elmwood Park Road The Center

West Hartford Business Buzz: July 2, 2018

Rendering of sign for Fuller Yoga. Courtesy of Justine Fuller

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

By Ronni Newton

If you email me this week, you’ll find that my vacation responder is on, and says I am ACTUALLY on vacation. I’m not feeling very vacation-like late on Sunday night (actually early Monday morning), as I sit at my laptop while the rest of the house is sound asleep after a full day of lots of sun, sand, water, food, and Nantucket’s famous Juice Bar ice cream. But I did run a 5K race this morning and then enjoy a few hours on the beach, following an extraordinarily exciting event on Saturday night.

Katie was completely surprised when Matt popped the question. Sam (off to the left) and I got to photograph the big event. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

My daughter Katie is engaged!!!

Her longtime boyfriend, Matt Redman, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him on Saturday evening. It was a perfect moment, in the golden light an hour before sunset, on the beach in Nantucket where they have enjoyed so many other great moments in the nearly seven years since they have been dating.

The rest of the family knew it was going to happen, since Matt had come to us and asked for permission, and we gave him my mother’s engagement ring to give to Katie. My mother died in 1990, and Katie was born five years later, on her birthday. They share so many personality traits, and we are all so happy that she now has my mother’s diamond – in a setting that Matt chose so it is also distinctly theirs.

Matt and Katie. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Katie and Matt started dating when she was a junior and he was a senior at Conard in 2011, but they first met in 1998 when she was 3 and he was 4 – just a few weeks after we moved to West Hartford from DC – at the playground at Wolcott Park where he shared his McDonald’s french fries with her. I also have a photo of them standing next to each other in 2002, on the first anniversary of 9/11, when they were part of a group of 10 Webster Hill students chosen to paint the window that then stood in front of the LaSalle Road Post Office.

We are so thrilled and so happy. We have loved Matt and considered himself part of our family for years, and are so excited that now it’s going to be official.

After that there’s not really any good segue, other than to say: now for a bit of business …

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 yoga studio at 276 Park Rd. has been empty since Starr Yoga closed in May, but on Saturday the space will once again be filled with yogis as Fuller Yoga has its grand opening. Justine Fuller, who has lived in Connecticut for the past 20 years, and formerly had a yoga studio at 1477 Park St. in Hartford before moving to Glastonbury seven years ago, will open her new West Hartford location on July 7. “It will be a nice way to get back on the west side of the river,” Fuller said. She trained with Alison West at Yoga Union in New York, and approaches her practice with a focus on alignment, recognizing that not everyone can move in the same way. Fuller said she has several unique specialities, including being trained in yoga for scoliosis patients and those with disk herniations, and she wants to be sure that her students can appreciate the value of the practice, and do yoga forever. “I believe that yoga is floss for the body,” Fuller said. Classes will be free on Saturday, and classes all during the first week will be just $7. Among the class offerings, Fuller said, will be heated yoga for all levels, a yin class on Thursday mornings, and some barre classes. On Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m., there will be a community class for just $7, and plans for a Saturday community class are in the works as well. “I want to make sure to give everyone that opportunity,” Fuller said. Fuller said she has hired several great teachers for the West Hartford studio, and will personally teach there on Mondays. Punch cards are available, and will be able to be used in West Hartford or Glastonbury. For more information, including a class schedule, visit fulleryoga.com.

    Nelson Salon is now Beleza. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Renovations are complete and Beleza will have its inspection Monday and is preparing for its grand opening on July 18. Eleza, at 8 Ellsworth Rd. in West Hartford Center, was formerly known as Nelson Salon, but owner Nilce Conti has changed the name and transitioned the business from a space for hair, skin, and nails to a full spa designed for “beauty and well-being.” Services now include massage as well as a salt room. Look for more details and interior photos after the opening.
  • Licensed Massage Therapist Kristin Harpie, formerly at Face It Medspa, is opening up her own practice, M2 Muscle Mechanic, at 12 North Main St., Suite 110. Free parking is available in the back of the building. She officially opens at the new location on Thursday, July 5, but is taking appointments at 860-372-9896. Harpie said that she no longer has access to her previous schedule or client list, and hopes her clients, including those who have appointments, will get in touch with her. Look for a feature story coming soon on Harpie and her unique style of targeted therapeutic massage!
  • Bishops Corner celebrated the arrival of its planters from Knox last week, but as hot as it is now, warm weather was late in coming this year and orders are taking longer to fill. In an email sent to its members on Thursday, Elmwood Business Association President Rick Liftig said, “Simply, our planters just aren’t ready yet and we are hoping for delivery the week of July 9th or before. Apologies to everyone, but apparently we don’t have the secret to making the plants grow any faster.” Never fear, Elmwood, as well as Park Road and the Home Design District will be blooming soon!
  • Dress like a cow – really wear anything cow-like – on July 10 and you will get a free breakfast, lunch, or dinner entree at Chick-fil-A in West Hartford. It’s the annual “#CowAppreciationDay.”

    Kathy Christensen (left) and Peter Macdonald have joined the board of The Bridge Family Center. Courtesy photos

  • The Bridge Family Center announced last week that it has added two members to its Board of Directors: Kathleen Christensen, Director at Connecticut Wealth Management and member of the Bridge’s Children’s Charity Ball committee, and Peter Macdonald, Vice President of Workers’ Compensation Claims at The Hartford. Kathleen and Peter are both residents of West Hartford and will each serve a three-year term.
  • In this week’s sad news, Petals and Paws, which relocated from Raymond Road to 268 Park Rd. several years ago, closed that location just a few days ago. Their original Canton store, at 465 Albany Turnpike, remains open.
  • Other sad news this week was the announced plans of the Clothes Horse, also on Park Road, to close early this fall. Click here for all of the details.
  • There was quite a bit of restaurant news last week: Hunter Morton was named Culinary Director for Max Restaurant Group and Bob Peterson has replaced him as chef at West Hartford’s Max’s Oyster Bar, there was a feature on the recently-opened Harvest Wine Bar on LaSalle Road, and appearing today is a feature on Rockledge Grille, which had a soft opening on Saturday.
  • Also in last week’s business news, Legrand celebrated earning LEED Certified status.

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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