[Updated] A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
Happy Monday! This is one of those Mondays that will feel relaxing compared to the weekend.
I am a volunteer on the Celebrate West Hartford committee, and I spent pretty much the entire weekend (beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday) in Info Booth 2 at West Hartford’s signature festival. I also handle the social media for the event, am one of the official event photographers, and I ran the 5K race.
Yet compared to some of the time others committed to Celebrate West Hartford, my contribution was minimal. Others were there late on Friday – ensuring that arts and crafts vendors and other vendors and exhibitors could get their booths set up – and back at 6 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers hauled tables and ice, sold tickets, ran the showmobile music stage, and did what they could to ensure that a great time was had by all.
And despite some rain on Sunday afternoon, the event was a great success. Here’s the link to some of the photos I took.
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:
- [Editor’s Note: The original information about The Paper Source had been provided by a reader via an employee of Edens. The communications director for Edens did not respond to a request for comment the in time for publication, but provided a correction after the article was published. The business that will occupy the former Party City space is The Paper Store, not Paper Source.] I don’t yet have the timeframe, but the space vacated by Party City in Bishops Corner (on Dec. 31, 2015) will soon be home to ThePaper Store. There’s a large dumpster in front of the entrance, and work on the space seems to be underway. The Paper Store, according to its website, is “the largest family owned and operated chain of Specialty Gift Stores in New England; and these are not your average gift and card stores!” The business started more than 5o years ago in Maynard, MA, and according to the website is now: “a sophisticated and diverse operation that includes beautiful Gifts, Social Expressions, Fashion & Fashion Accessories, Bath & Body, Social Stationery & Custom Invitations, Infant Fashion & Specialty Gifts, Home Décor & Tabletop, Educational Toys & Games, Gourmet Foods, Best-Selling Books for all ages, and so much more!” The company has about 50 stores throughout New England, and nine other stores in Connecticut, with the closest in the Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton.
- A friend who works at the University of Hartford shared the following information which was announced last week: “Moe’s Southwest Grill is coming to campus in time for the start of the fall semester! Moe’s will open in the Gengras Student Union Cafeteria in the same location that housed Extreme Pita. A temporary wall has been constructed to close-off the space while the work is going on. Electrical and plumbing work will follow – with the new space expected to be completed and turned over to Dining Services the first week of August.” This one is being run by Aramark and isn’t a full standalone Moe’s like the one in Blue Back, but the Gengras Student Union is open to the public so if you’re craving Moe’s you will be able to find it in West Hartford again. Matt Rusconi, co-owner of the franchise that operated the Blue Back Square Moe’s, said he hopes to have some news soon.
- On Friday, 20 employees from BlumShapiro served as teachers in Junior Achievement’sJA In A Day program at Webster Hill Elementary School in West Hartford. According to a news release, “For the seventh consecutive year, BlumShapiro volunteers will interact with more than 150 Webster Hill students in grades 3-5 in a day filled with interactive lessons about the fundamentals of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Blum Shapiro CEO Joseph A. Kask said in the release, “Our annual participation in JA In A Day builds upon our ongoing commitment to the community to build and sustain financial literacy for our youth. JA In A Day gives us the opportunity to share our expertise in a fundamental, meaningful and fun way with the Webster Hill Elementary School students. We greatly appreciate the warm welcome we receive from the children, and are impressed with their enthusiasm and involvement in the classroom activities we provide.”
- Prospect Café has launched a series of “patio parties” on their very large and well-appointed patio. The next one is scheduled for Friday, June 16, beginning at 6 p.m., and will include “Lobster Rolls, Clam Chowder, and a Raw Oyster Bar on our patio. Featuring New England Brewery on draft, including Scrumtrulescent Saison among (3-4) other NEBCO beers to be announced. There will also be a DJ.
- Total Wines & More in Corbin’s Corner has announced an opening date of June 23.
- Bluemercury in West Hartford Center continues to offer free services and samples. This Friday will feature “expert advice and lune*aster makeup,” according to Manager Lauren Orozco.
- Best of West Hartford is about to hit its next phase, and thanks to all who nominated their favorite businesses! Watch for the “sweepstakes van” (not really a van, but a special vehicle filled with balloons and good news) notifying businesses this week that they are finalists. Voting for the “Best of” will launch on Friday, and more details will be forthcoming.
- Journey Home’s “Haircuts for Humanity” at United Artists in West Hartford is today. Other West Hartford businesses have also donated products or services, and you can still donate to sponsor a haircut. Click here for the details.
- ICYMI: McLadden’s owner Mike Ladden announced Thursday that he will be developing a new concept – a Roaring Twenties, speakeasy-styled restaurant called Noble & Co. – and the first location will open perhaps as soon as late this fall in the 43 LaSalle Rd. space being vacated by Charles Schwab. For the complete story, click here.
- Speaking of Charles Schwab, I took a tour of their beautiful new space at 11 South Main St. on Friday. A sneak peek will be forthcoming this week! The move is scheduled for this weekend.
- The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual meeting and awards dinner on June 20 at the Pond House. Scott Slifka (who will also be “roasted” on June 22) will receive the Noah Webster Award, and among the other awards are “Spotlight” awards for member businesses. I am incredibly excited that We-Ha.com has been chosen as recipient of the marketing award! Tickets to the dinner are available to Chamber members and other guests. Click here for more information.
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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