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West Hartford Business Buzz: September 25, 2017

The White Rabbit will open this October at 214 Park Rd. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

Happy autumn … er, summer!

The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain afforded a 360-degree vista of the water in Maine’s Acadia National Park. Photo credit: Ted Newton

I was thinking it was going to be time to really welcome fall on Friday, on the actual date of the autumn equinox, but Mother Nature decided we needed to melt a bit first, perhaps so we could really appreciate it. I am not one to wish for cooler weather, but after doing a 12-mile run (a few weeks left before the Hartford Half Marathon) Sunday morning followed by sitting in the sun at the UConn football game, I’d welcome a chill right about now.

I returned late Saturday from a very quick getaway to Maine (where it was also unseasonably warm on Saturday). It was great to do some hiking in Acadia National Park (note the We-Ha shep shirt that made the trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain with me) – where the vistas were spectacular! It was also fun to catch up with my oldest friend (since age 2) and her husband in Portland.

There is a ton of business news to share, and a busy week in West Hartford is on tap – highlighted by Wednesday’s Best of West Hartford event at Cinépolis Theater in Blue Back Square. Click here for all of the details and information on how to make sure you don’t miss one of the year’s top networking events!

Also, the top three finalists in this year’s Best of West Hartford have been announced. Click here to see if your favorite made the cut!

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 White Rabbit will open this October at 214 Park Rd. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • It’s great to be able to lead this column with a retail post, and West Hartford’s Park Road neighborhood will be home to a unique new store! Owner Emily King plans to open The White Rabbit at 214 Park Rd. in West Hartford, relocating the shop from Storrs where it has been located for four years and recognized as one of the region’s top antiques shops. In addition to antiques, the store sells clothing and unique specialty pieces. According to a post on Facebook, The White Rabbit “will be opening October 2017 and again providing customers with the best antiques, furniture, clothing and vintage items we can get our hands on. We are looking forward to meeting all the locals and excited to be part of this community.” For up-to-date information, follow on Facebook. We will also let everyone know when they open!
  • Park & Oak Restaurant will be hosting a “Toast to the Park Road Parade” fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 5. A portion of proceeds at an extended happy hour that night (4-7 p.m.) will be donated in support of the Park Road Parade, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7. Visit the Park & Oak Facebook page for further details.
  • Also on Park Road, the former Park Road Jewelers at 316 Park Rd. will soon be home to Park Road Tailors.
  • In Bishops Corner news, EDENS Assistant Property Manager Karen Fillian said that Associated Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists has moved from Newington to the second floor of 335 North Main St.
  • EDENS Assistant Property Manager Karen Fillian also advised that Regional Cancer Care will be taking an 8,000 square foot space on the third floor of 335 North Main St. Build-out will begin in January with plans to open next May.
  • At 485 New Park Ave., A Little Something Bakery has been undergoing some changes. Owner Beth Bolton reported the following: “We’ve changed the decor – we are more of an industrial vintage to match the building. No more pink.” Bolton also said that the company is strictly a “made to order shop … We are concentrating on our cake business that has been growing over the past few years. We have nothing that is pre-made. We also will be doing cupcakes and cookies. We book out at least 3 weeks, but always call, if I can fit it in, I will.” Bolton said the new look will be unveiled Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5-8 p.m. at an event that includes a raffle for four cakes, gift certificate offers, and samples. 
  • On Thursday at Ooh La La Boutique in Blue Back Square is having a fundraiser to benefit Sistasoccer. According to Ooh La La owner Darlene Salonia, “Sistasoccer mission is to collect gently warn soccer clothes and equipment to be distributed to children in need. It was started by a retired professional soccer player that was injured but for the love of the sport started the foundation to spread the game to as many children as possible.” For additional information, email [email protected].
  • Blue Back Square restauranteur Prasad Chirnomoula of INDIA reports that one of the restaurants that is part of his Five Star Restaurant Group will be closing at the end of the month. In a news release, Chirnomoula said, “Despite having received rave reviews from multiple media sources, including an ‘Excellent’ by the New York Times, and coveted as ‘best Indian Chef in America,’ by David Rosengarten – author of the popular newsletter ‘The Rosengarten Report’ – Thali restaurant will officially close its doors to the public after a decade of serving the Greater New Haven area.” In a news release Chirnomoula said, “There are so many restaurants and just not enough people. We had a really good run in New Haven and I am proud and honored to have worked alongside some of the very best in the industry. We will miss our loyal patrons, the staff, and our neighbors, and we are thankful to Yale and our community for all of the support over the years.”
  • Arugula, located at 953 Farmington Ave., is offering a new “social hour” owner Christiane Gehami reports. The social cocktail hour is from 5-6:30 p.m. on Sunday as well as Tuesday through Thursday. Discounted beer, wine, and cocktails will be offered, but Gehami said the best part will be the mezze: “hummus, carrots and cucumbers, mini crab cakes topped with a dollop of thai curry coconut sauce, rosemary polenta fries with a spicy lime aioli, sweet and smoky potato wedges served with a creamy watercress dipping sauce, and a cheese and charcuterie mini plate … an aged grafton cheddar cheese, finocchiono, (which is a divine fennel salami) and savory wafer crackers.” 
  • Finally, ICYMI, Max Downtown was closed for several weeks over the summer but reopened last week with a new look. Click here for the complete story.
  • Look for some proposed zoning changes to be considered this fall, including an “experiential zoning” ordinance. Click here for the details.

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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