West Hartford’s ‘Monday Memory’

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Monday Memory,’ courtesy of the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society.

By Ronni Newton

It’s time to take a look back into West Hartford’s past to either stir up some memories, reflect on how much things have changed, or both. And if you have no idea, we love the photo captions, too!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Last week’s photo (at right and in larger size below) was obviously Puerto Vallarta since the name was right on the building, but the building has been home to many restaurants over the years, and many readers had great memories of long ago meals.

“It’s now Treva. Early on it was Edelweiss. I think Puerto Vallarta closed sometime in the early 2000s,” commented Lisa Petersen.

“I remember going there in the 1950’s with my parents and believe it was called The West Hartford Diner,” David Wadstrup wrote.

Giovanni Seccareccia added some more [accurate] detail about the West Hartford Diner: “The diner’s metal shell still stands beneath all the iron, mortar and concrete. They just built a more modern building around it.” He also shared some information about another former occupant: It was Edelweiss for many years. Before Edelweiss it was a restaurant called ‘Longo’s’ Before the buildings look as they do today, this area was also the site of the ‘West Hartford Diner’ which remains intact under all the mortar and concrete, hence the long narrow look of the interior today.”

“Stephanie” said she thought Puerta Vallarta closed in about 2008. “After this was Puerta Vallarta, it was Coco for a while before becoming Treva. The location to the left is now Grace Nail, and to the right is CVS. I recall enjoying Puerta Vallarta when they first opened because was nice to have a place to enjoy a margarita on the patio … there weren’t nearly as many restaurants with patios in the center as there are now!”

Liz Kerrigan also shared some firsthand memories: “My first memory of this building is Edelweiss. It closed in the 90s. Puerto Vallarta followed. Now Treva. Remembering some places along that strip …Florence Travis, Stride Rite, Pfaus, Val’s, Nanshe’s … Just to name a few!”

“The era back when this was Edelweiss was quite telling , with the wide sidewalks there were yet few if any outdoor restaurants – it was ripe for the developments that we see today,” added “Michael.”

Erich Pilatti, who added his comments on Facebook, definitely had a firsthand memory of this location: “Absolutely the Edelweiss as my parents bought it when it was Longo’s Italian Restaurant and prior to that it was the West Hartford Diner.” In another Facebook post he added, “My parents Carlo & Rosa bought Longo’s and converted to the Edelweiss. I was the dishwasher and busboy for a long time. Learned how to cook from my dad. Once his asthma got bad he sold it to Helmut. At the time it was one of the few restaurants in WH along with South Seas, Maple Hill, and greasy spoon on Lasalle.”

So did Sharon Ness: “Edelweiss when we came to WH, then Puerto Vallerta, Treva…our real estate agent took us to Edelweiss when we closed on our first house in WH.”

There were dozens of other Facebook comments, especially from many who fondly remembered Edelweiss.

“Chef Helmut made absolutely the best chicken cordon bleu and roesti (sp?)potatoes,” commented Henry Holmes.

Vida Zdanys Leming said she had her rehearsal dinner at Edelweiss, and John Burby said his dad had worked as the day bartender. He also fondly remembered Chef Helmut’s game dinner.

“I loved Edelweiss because I could order all of the great foods my parents taught us to love early on… escargot, pheasant, mussels dijon, asparagus … yum,” commented Karen Duffy.

Karen Hollant had this comment regarding Puerto Vallarta: “We went there often, especially the week my son was overdue to be born and I ate the spiciest foods I could find!”

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

This week’s photo (at right and in larger size below as well as at the top of this column) is appropriate for the summer season.

Who knows where this is?

What was happening in this photo?

When was this photo taken?

Please share your memories below.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is always looking for new images to add to the collection. Visit their website at www.noahwebsterhouse.org for more information about membership and programs.

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Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • I don’t think it’s Fern Park. The pool at Fern park was L shaped and the deep end was away from the building.

  • I believe this is Fern pool and it appears as though the interior is being repaired or it is the beginning stages of the total rebuild of the pool. The lane markings are present so it can’t be a new installation. I have to believe that the pool was being resealed or electrical or filter piping was being repaired. I spent many years at Fern pool, I grew up on Fern Street. Time frame, late fifties

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