West Hartford’s ‘Thursday Throwback’

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Thursday Throwback,’ 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!

My apologies for the lengthy hiatus. It’s been several weeks since we have featured an image from West Hartford’s past. I’ve gotten sidetracked with budget stories and other news, but the relaunch of “Thursday Throwback” begins today and I will do my best to continue on a much more regular basis.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

The last image posted, a Monday Memory from March 20 (at right and in larger size below) was of a place that was fairly easy for many to recognize – because although it has a different occupant, it’s otherwise virtually unchanged. There were a few alternative guesses, but most got it right.

“My guess is that the old Webster Diner that is now East West Grill on New Park Ave across from BJs,” commented “Ken.”

Giovanni Seccareccia was hedging his bets: “Either the old Yankee Flyer Diner on New Park Avenue (now East/West Grill) or the original location of the center diner which was still under the facade at Edelweiss Restaurant and now Treva.”

“That is the Yankee Flyer Diner on New Park Ave which is now East-West Grill. Appears to be early 70’s,” commented Dave Gabriele.

Roger Katz didn’t identify the diner by the same name as others did, but he recognized the location: “I remember that as the New Park Diner which also might have been called the West Hartford Diner. It’s now an Asian restaurant.”

Martha Moss knew: “This has been the wonderful East-West Grille since 2001.”

“Without a doubt this was the Yankee Flyer Diner, owned and operated by John Kokinis for most of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Located on New Park Ave,” commented Derek Pariseault.

Some readers commented on Facebook, and although there were a few other guesses, most also knew that this was the Yankee Flyer Diner, now East-West Grille (which opened in 2001).

“My brother Ray, who really knows cars and has not been wrong-yet-on this page, says, ‘That’s ‘s a 1975 Chrysler.’ My guess for year of this photo though is 1979. Location- I say New Park Ave where East west grill is now,” commented David Dyson.

Pat Corvaglia wrote, “I worked there around 1964 with John and Gus the owners.”

The building in the photo, located at 526 New Park Ave., was constructed in 1940. In the photo it was the Yankee Flyer Diner, and it’s now East-West Grille, but in between it was briefly the Webster’s Barbecue Cafe. According to information I could dig up online, 526 New Park Ave. was the West Hartford Diner as late as the early 1960s – likely right before it became the Yankee Flyer. One reader mentioned the Oakwood Diner, but I could not find any reference to a diner by that name.

We don’t know what year the photo was taken, but David Dyson seems to have faith in his brother, so we will guess that 1979 is definitely in the ballpark.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

It makes me a bit wistful to see this week’s photo (at right and in larger size below as well as at the top of this column) at a time when I start thinking about planting flowers and my herb and vegetable garden.

Who knows where this is?

When was this photo taken?

I’m sure many people have memories, so please share them below.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. They are 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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  • Spot on, Giovanni! What a difference trees make! So sorry the nursery is gone now…
    Great reminder now that across the street is being developed. Wonder what it will be next!

  • I also agree that it is Patrissi Nursery on Ringgold Street in West Hartford, The spot is parallel to the back of the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent. The business was founded in the early 40’s, sold to a non-family member for awhile then bought back by the Patrissi family until it closed last year. One of the founder’s sons, Richard Patrissi was known as the Mayor of Park Road and organized the annual Park Road Parade until his passing.

  • Patristics nursery. Always bought our Christmas tree there and my mom would go there to get plants for her gardens….

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