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West Hartford Business Buzz: October 14, 2019

Kaliubon Ramen will be opening in the former INDIA space in Blue Back Square. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend – and if you have a long weekend I hope you’re still enjoying it!

It didn’t rain as much as predicted at the end of the week, and the weather – in my opinion – was excellent for the running of the Hartford Marathon and other races on Saturday. Bushnell Park wasn’t a mud pit, the beer garden at “mile 27” was hopping, and everyone really seemed to enjoy what is one of the region’s signature events.

I ran the Hartford Half Marathon for the 15th time (my 16th time in the event, because the first year I participated I actually ran the full marathon), and it was a fantastic experience. I thought I was going to run alone this year because a few of my running partners had decided early on not to race and then another got injured. My friend Heather and I had talked about running together, but we were both afraid we might hold the other back.

Heather and I happened to meet up between mile 2 and 3 on the course, and decided to run together for at least a while – which ended up being for the next 10-plus miles, until we crossed the finish line together! My time was 2:08.54, and even though I say I’m no longer in it for the time (which I’m not, because I will never again come close to my PR of 1:51.24), I’m rather pleased that – without feeling like I was about to keel over – I took 3 minutes off last year’s time, which was faster than the previous year’s time. And I am very thankful to Heather for talking me up those hills, particularly Elizabeth Street between miles 10 and 11.

Sam snapped this photo of Millie, who seemed very happy to have him home! Photo credit: Sam Newton

Major congrats to my husband, Ted, who took second place in his age group, and to all of the runners and those who cheered us on and the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s organizers and volunteers who provided such great support!

And thank you to Katie and Matt who brought Millie down to the race to greet us at the end!

After the race, the rest of my weekend included a wonderful visit with Sam, who came home Saturday afternoon. Millie was absolutely thrilled to see her boy again!

We all enjoyed a celebratory dinner Saturday night (13.1 miles of running means eating a huge burger and sweet potato fries without any guilt), and even though I spent most of Sunday working on the story about last week’s debate and this column, it was a great weekend.

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:

  • Some great news about the former INDIA space in Blue Back Square: Kaliubon Ramen has signed a lease, applied for permits, and hopes to be open by the end of the year! This is brand new information so I don’t have a lot of details yet, but it’s owned by the same partners who own Kaliubon Ramen’s Wethersfield location – Raymond Zheng of Ginza group’s Feng Asian Bistro, Kevin Xu of Ginza Japanese Cuisine in Wethersfield, and Bill Chen, one of the founders of the Ginza group. The focus is on casual noodle dishes, with house-made noodles crafted on a machine brought over from Japan as the focal point. This is from their website: “Experience perfection at the best Ramen shop in Wethersfield! We serve a wide variety of authentic Japanese Ramen and Poke bowls! Try our signature Kaliubon Ramen or our Shoyu Ramen from our Noodle Bar! Also try our Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl!” They serve lunch and dinner, and have earned 4.5 stars on Yelp. Click here for more information or to see a menu. Much more information to come!

    Total Fit Studio owner Gabriela Peralta (with scissors) and Mayor Shari Cantor cut the ribbon on Friday, Oct. 11, surrounded by employees, friends, and members of the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting Friday at Total Fit Studio (274 Park Rd.) and owner Gabriela Peralta was thrilled to show off her new space. It’s a woman-only workout space that specializes in group and one-on-one training. Peralta said that she offers programs in fat loss, mobility, flexibility, interval training, weight training, and high-intensity (HIT). Class schedules are being updated, but will be the same Monday through Friday, with classes from 5-10 a.m. and again from 4:30-8 p.m. Private sessions will be scheduled in between. Weekends will have classes at 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., and private sessions as well. The goal is to offer support and empowerment, and, Peralta said, “It’s all about fun.” Visit the website for more details.
  • While on the subject of fitness, Edge Fitness (Corbins Corner) has not set an opening date yet, but is continuing the build-out of the former Toys ‘R Us space and according to information posted on their website will be opening sometime in December.
  • And speaking of “‘R Us,” Director of Community Development Mark McGovern told the Elmwood Business Association last week that the former Babies ‘R Us space (which is on the Farmington/Newington/New Britain line but actually in West Hartford) is being considered for subdivision, with Ulta Beauty as the primary tenant. It’s currently being looked at by the town’s Design Review Advisory Committee.

    Playa Bowls is under construction and hopes to be open by Thanksgiving. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • While walking to a meeting last week, I happened to meet the construction manager for Playa Bowls, which will be opening in the former Potbelly location at 51 Memorial Rd. He said that things are moving along, and the hope is for an opening around Thanksgiving. For more information about Playa Bowls, visit their website.
  • Nurturing Hands will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., to celebrate 10 years at their 777 Farmington Ave. location. Attendees are invited to meet all of the practitioners, see the different modalities, and experience chair massage. Co-owners Wendy Payton and Deby Van Ohlen were recently mentioned in West Hartford LIFE   (https://view.publitas.com/p222-6222/whl-1019_layout/page/20-21). “We are so excited to celebrate this milestone with all the people in the community who have been and continue to be so supportive and it will be a great opportunity for new people to see our office and have a chance to ask any questions that might have about massage and how it can be helpful to their health and wellness.,” said Van Ohlen. “Wendy, myself and all the practitioners are looking forward to a fun afternoon.”   Contact Nurturing Hands at 860-570-0268. More information is also available on their website, www.nurturinghandsllc.com.
  • Congratulations to attorney David A. McGrath of West Hartford, who has been elected a 2019 Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF) James W. Cooper Fellows Program. “We are pleased to recognize our new Fellows for their distinguished services to our legal system and for their commitment to the principles of equal justice and the rule of law,” attorney Andrea Barton Reeves, president of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, said in a news release. The Fellows Program was established to honor the leading members of the legal profession and the Judiciary in Connecticut, to promote a better understanding of the legal profession and the judicial system, and to explore ways to improve the profession and the administration of justice in Connecticut. Fellows are nominated by their peers and are elected by the CBF Board of Directors.  Membership in the Fellows is evidence of professional excellence and distinction. Forty-one Fellows were elected this year. McGrath is a partner at Louden, Katz & McGrath, LLC in Hartford. He received a B.A., cum laude, in politics from Saint Anselm College and a J.D., with Honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 2010. Attorney McGrath is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, chair of the Young Lawyers Section and serves on the Executive Committee of both the Family Section and the Professionalism and CLE Committee. He also serves as the co-chair of Mentoring for the Hartford County Bar Association. McGrath is the recipient of the HCBA’s Judge Maxwell Heiman Award, and has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers (2013-2018) and as a New Leader in Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune (2016). He lives in West Hartford with his wife, Jessica McGrath, and his two daughters.
  • In other legal news, former West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka, who is Vice President and general counsel for LEGO, will be speaking at Harvard Law School on Wednesday.
  • West Hartford resident Eliana Cardeno has launched Kiyomi Beauty, a Korean beauty and skincare business headquartered in Hartford. She has launched a Kickstarter campaign to unveil new products, the Kiyomi Beauty Pouch and the Kiyomi Beauty Box, and the business, which launched a pilot of the beauty subscription box back in February, is seeking to raise $20,000 by Mid-November. “Korean beauty is raising the standard worldwide with innovative products, whimsical packaging and its dedication to skin care,” Cardeno said. “The focus is on prevention and not repair. However, the lack the access to these products and the knowledge needed to adopt a new routine can often be challenging, with Kiyomi Beauty, you can take comfort in knowing that you will receive new products directly to your doorstep and step-by-step instructions to easily follow.” Kiyomi Beauty was created to conveniently connect women to South Korean products that are effective, ethical and innovative and empower them throughout their skincare journey, and the idea for the company was formed while Cardeno was living and working as a model in South Korea. For more information, visit Kiyomi Beauty at www.kiyomibeauty.com.

    Sohaib Jamil, M.D. Submitted photo

  • Congratulations to West Hartford resident Sohaib Jamil, M.D., who has joined the gastroenterology practice of Prime Healthcare, P.C., with offices in West Hartford, Avon, and South Windsor, according to the partners. Dr. Jamil recently completed his three-year Gastroenterology Fellowship at the University of Buffalo where he additionally served as Chief Medicine Resident following his three-year Internal Medicine Residency. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and licensed to practice medicine in Connecticut. Jamil received his B.A. in biologicalsSciences with a minor in psychology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Prior to attending Medical School at the Medical University of the Americas in Nevis, West Indies, Dr. Jamil gained seven years of experience as a Quality Control Scientist and Research Scientist at Pfizer and as a Research Associate at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
  • ICYMI, the latest Experience We-Ha podcast is about The Fix IV Therapy. You can learn about the process and follow the experience as Jeff and Ryan get their fix. Click here for more details or to listen to the podcast.

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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