Business Elmwood Park Road The Center

West Hartford Business Buzz: November 28, 2016

Park & Oak Restaurant will officially open the first week of December. Photo credit: Ronni Newton
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A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.

By Ronni Newton

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope many of you also got a chance to enjoy a long holiday weekend!

One of my daughter’s friends sent out a group text Thursday morning with the very appropriate wish – for a Happy Thanksgiving complete with “stretchy pants and an expandable belly.” Stretchy pants are definitely feeling better than my jeans right about now since I have continued to eat even though I have not been hungry since Thursday afternoon when I consumed: cream of wild rice soup and turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and green bean casserole and glazed carrots and bread and three kinds of pie and probably some other things that I have forgotten to list. And then I ate leftovers, and had beers and brats at a tailgate and had pizza and ate brunch to celebrate my husband’s birthday. And on Sunday night I got to sample one of West Hartford’s newest restaurants (see below).

Scarlett was looking mighty glum after the kids left with their suitcases. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Scarlett was looking mighty glum after the kids left with their suitcases. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

In between cooking and eating this weekend I did manage to find time to run (thank goodness!) and also partake in Black Friday and Small Business Saturday shopping.

We loved having both kids home for the entire week, and it was great getting to see some of their friends, too. In this case, “we” includes our dog, Scarlett, who was so happy to have a full house. She was looking pretty sad on Sunday night after she saw the kids put their suitcases in the car, but we (the humans) know that they’ll only be gone for a few weeks and then home for more than a month!

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:

Park & Oak officially opens to the public on Nov. 30. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Park & Oak officially opens to the public on Nov. 30. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • My weekend of eating ended with the opportunity to attend a tasting at Park & Oak Restaurant on Sunday night. Yum!!! Chef/owner David Borselle is so excited for the official opening to the public, which will be on Wednesday, Nov. 30. I don’t claim to be a restaurant reviewer, but here’s a description of our meal: We started with the calamari which was fresh and crisp and served with a delicious garlic-herb butter. My husband had the chicken and waffles, and the chicken was as light tasting as fried chicken could be and the smoked cheese was a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the waffles. I had the wild mushroom orzo with shaved broccoli and truffle oil, topped with parmesan, and it was creamy and delicious without being heavy. We finished off dinner with a lemon tart topped with fresh strawberries that was almost too pretty to eat – but we were glad we did eat it. My husband hates when I take photos of food but he was pretty patient during this meal so I got a shot of everything we ate (see below) and drank, as well as some other diners’ desserts! As Borselle promised when I first interviewed him about the restaurant several months ago, the atmosphere is warm, friendly, and comfortable, and we will definitely be back! Park & Oak is located at 14-16 Oakwood Ave., just south of the intersection with Park Road. Click here for the full menu on the Park & Oak website and here for my previous article describing the restaurant.tie-we-ha-peri-green-plain
  • I’ll come back to food in a few bullet points. In shopping news, CBS’s “60 Minutes” reported that today’s annual Cyber Monday sales are expected to be record-breaking. There’s also a local cyber deal to take advantage of: the new Vineyard Vines We-Ha Classic Tote and Shep Shirt (in navy blue, for men and women) are all 20 percent off today. And the custom tie (in green or blue) will be $20 off today only. Items will be in stock in plenty of time for Christmas/Chanukah delivery. Visit we-ha.com/store.
    The former Bally Total Fitness at 1031 New Britain Ave. will become a self-storage facility. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

    The former Bally Total Fitness at 1031 New Britain Ave. will become a self-storage facility. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • I belonged to the Bally Total Fitness at 1031 New Britain Ave. when I first moved to West Hartford. It closed several years ago, briefly became a Blast Fitness, and is about to be repurposed into a self-storage facility. There’s a dumpster out in front and one small piece of construction machinery, but expect the transformation of the long-vacant and rundown fitness facility to begin soon.
  • West Hartford’s Annual Holiday Stroll is Thursday from 5-7:30 p.m., and this year there’s even an After Stroll from 7:30-8:30 p.m. for the adults to enjoy. The Stroll includes a variety of festive music, horse drawn carriage rides, several Santas, tree lighting, window display and ugly sweater contests, and so much more. The After Stroll includes a bartending contest and karaoke. Click here for the full schedule of activities.
  • Happy 7th Anniversary to La Petite France! The French bakery/cafe, located at 967 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center, will be celebrating its “lucky seven” with a party for the public on Dec. 9 from 6-7 p.m. There will be cake, a raffle, and a gift exchange for anyone who wants to bring a gift valued at $10 or less for a Secret Santa event. Owner Alex Litor is also hoping that guests “prepare a sentence about what you love at La Petite France.”
  • In keeping with the food theme of today’s column, New Asia co-owner Tommy Li said that the restaurant’s move from 1160 New Britain Ave. to the newly-renovated building across the street will take place by Christmas. We will announce the move and hope to share some photos of the interior as soon as it’s final.
  • Savoy Pizzeria & Craft Bar, which opened just a few weeks ago at 32 LaSalle Rd., is now open for lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. on weekends.
  • There’s a West Hartford connection to this story since Waypoint Spirits in Bloomfield has West Hartford ownership … There are several other local distilleries that have recently opened, and statewide 10 spirits makers have teamed up to launch the CT Spirits Trail. Click here for the complete story from Leeanne Griffin at the Hartford Courant.
  • Noble & Co. is just such a cool place, and the reviews from those who have had a chance to eat and/or drink during the soft opening period have been amazing. The official grand opening is today! Click here for photos and more details.
  • Another ICYMI for our final food-related story: Rizzuto’s has recommitted to Blue Back Square through the end of 2021, and has brought back a free appetizer bar as other specials to happy hour. Click here for all the details.

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].

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!

Hurricane and a glass of wine to accompany dinner at Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hurricane and a glass of wine to accompany dinner at Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Calamari. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Calamari. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chicken and waffles with cole slaw. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chicken and waffles with cole slaw. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Wild mushroom orzo with shaved broccoli and parmesan. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Wild mushroom orzo with shaved broccoli and parmesan. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Lemon tart topped with strawberries. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Lemon tart topped with strawberries. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chocolate bread pudding with pistachio ice cream. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chocolate bread pudding with pistachio ice cream. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bailey's creme brûlée at Park & Oak. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bailey’s crème brûlée at Park & Oak. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Interior of Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Interior of Park & Oak Restaurant. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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We-Ha

We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

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