New in the neighborhood: A look at restaurants and other businesses that have opened in the Hartford area
Jan 09, 2020 at 12:01 PM
What’s new in the neighborhood? Keep up on the latest restaurant, retail and other business openings in the Hartford area.
54 Memorial Road in West Hartford
Kaliubon Ramen has opened a new West Hartford location in Blue Back Square, offering several varieties of soul-warming ramen, noodle dishes and other Asian small plates and specialties. Read more about Kaliubon here.
Connecticut has its share of bourbon and tequila bars, but at the new Five Corners Bistro & Craft Bar in Farmington, it’s gin’s time to shine.
At Five Corners, which debuted in mid-December in the extensively renovated former Stonewell Restaurant space on Colt Highway, the restaurant is positioning itself as a gin bar, with a selection of about 40 diverse bottles and unique spins on gin and tonic cocktails. Read more about Five Corners here.
1150 New Britain Ave., West Hartford
Frida, a new Mexican restaurant in West Hartford’s Elmwood section, replaces Tapas, which was open in the space for 32 years before closing in April 2018. The new restaurant prides itself on an authentic Mexican menu with fresh, scratch cooking, featuring handmade items like corn tortillas, sopes and huaraches. Read more about Frida here.
The Flying Monkey Grill & Bar has moved from the Hartford-Brainard Airport, landing in Newington on the Berlin Turnpike. The popular casual restaurant and bar now has nearly double the space, seating about 175 guests, and the kitchen is about five times larger. The new Flying Monkey retains an aviation theme, with flight- and travel-inspired decor and menu items that include all your old favorites and a few new surprises. Read more about the menu, pricing and decor here.
The new Wood-n-Tap in Farmington, the long-awaited rebuild of the former Apricots, is a marvelous place. Go on a sunny day and you’ll see people everywhere. People on patios and balconies; people sitting under umbrellas at a terraced outdoor pavilion bar; people lounging on teak chairs by the riverfront, playing sack toss on the lawn or clustering around portable fire stoves. This isn’t a restaurant, really; it’s more of a family park with food and drink. When every seat is full, indoor and out, close to 500 people will be enjoying the premises. Call it Wood-n-Tap Park. Read full review here.
Dish 'n Dat
44 Albany Turnpike in Canton
Not really new in the neighborhood, but this modern day diner with nostalgic and funky decor by the owners of Dish Bar & Grill and Sorella in Hartford has moved just a fraction of a mile down the road from its original location in Canton. The restaurant has retained its voluminous menu, with indulgent starters, scratch-made soups, salads, chicken wings, specialty burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, macaroni and cheese and blue plate special-style entrees like meatloaf and chicken pot pie.
And in true diner tradition, Dish 'n Dat also offers breakfast all day, every day, and it’s not unusual to see customers having pancakes in the evening with a glass of wine. Read more about Dish 'n Dat here.
The “Span-ish” fast-casual restaurant El Pollo Guapo, which has locations in Wethersfield and downtown Hartford, has opened a third location, this one in Glastonbury in the town’s One Stop Shopping Center. Specializing in rotisserie chicken, the restaurant has taken over the former Gideon’s BBQ restaurant.
The menu is similar to its others, with rotisserie chicken meals and side dishes, rice bowls, salads, tacos and tapas-style snacks like empanadas, quesadillas and smashed avocado with tortilla chips. New menu items include a “veg head” quesadilla, a chicken tostada and churros. More information here.
Cotton Hollow Kitchen
840 Main St. in South Glastonbury
Cotton Hollow Kitchen in South Glastonbury describes its fare as “locally sourced contemporary chow," a fun mix of comfort fare like wings, burgers and macaroni and cheese, and more upscale choices like steaks, chops and seafood.The eatery, which opened at the end of October 2019 on Main Street in the town’s historic district, has something for everyone in a modern, open atmosphere, owner Mark Conley says. Read more here.
Connecticut chef Tyler Anderson has opened Square Peg Pizzeria, a project he calls “100 percent fun" — a pizza joint with red-sauce Italian dishes and arcade games.
The casual restaurant, in the Hebron Avenue space that formerly housed Piatti Restaurant & Bar, features starters, salads, sandwiches, calzones, pastas and pizza. Read more here.
69 Hawthorn St., Hartford
Piggy’s Cafe, a mainstay neighborhood bar on Hartford’s Hawthorn Street, has reopened with a revamped space and menu, featuring everything from starters to dessert and, of course, wings. Read more here.
El Pollo Guapo, Wethersfield’s popular rotisserie chicken concept, opened its second restaurant Dec. 5 on Front Street in Hartford. The menu remains largely the same with a few additional side dishes. The Hartford eatery also serves beer and wine. Read more here.
46 S. Main St., West Hartford
Balos is a unique new restaurant in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square — an upscale estiatorio that steps away from casual gyros and souvlaki to focus on more stylish Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, spotlighting fresh fish and seafood. Read more here.
1000 Degree Pizza
2941 Main St., Glastonbury
1000 Degree Pizza, a build-your-own pizza chain, opened in the “Shops On Main” development in Glastonbury in October. Read more here.
Perkatory Coffee Roasters
725 Main St., Unit 23, Middletown
Perkatory Coffee Roasters has opened up in the old Trolley Barn building in Middletown’s North End neighborhood in mid-September. Espresso, cappuccino, latte, cold brew and other coffee shop staples are available alongside freshly-roasted beans to go. Read more here.
Que Whiskey Kitchen
461 Queen St., Southington
Que Whiskey Kitchen has taken over the former TD Homer’s sports bar and features a menu of slow-smoked meats and other indulgent specialties, a bar with creative cocktails and 350 varieties of bourbons and whiskeys. Read more here.
This fast-casual chain location within the the University of Connecticut’s downtown Hartford campus, offers a menu of fruit bowls, smoothies and other healthy options. Read more here.
Sweet Dreams Bakery
2 Main St., New Britain
This bakery is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with a focus on the downtown breakfast and lunch business. Salads, made-to-order sandwiches, hot food and baked goods will be the heart of the business; delivery service is planned for the future. Read more here.
Qawa Coffee Co.
170 Main St., Middletown
Qawa Coffee Co. serves Intelligentsia brand coffee and a variety of teas. Standard coffee shop fare like lattes, cappuccinos and espresso are on the menu, but coffee enthusiasts can also find unique offerings, like a Yemeni latte infused with cardamom. Read more here.
Urban Lodge Brewing
47 Purnell Place, Manchester
As you walk toward the entrance of Urban Lodge Brewing, you’re greeted with lights strung in the sky and an outdoor patio equipped with fire pits. The front area has the bar with wood all around and seating. Bands play in a back room, and guests are also allowed to bring in food to enjoy the night. The floor plan was designed to feel like you are visiting at a friend’s house. Read more about Urban Lodge here.
Powder Hollow Brewery
62 Washington St., Middletown
Mike McManus has opened a second location of his popular Enfield-based Powder Hollow Brewery on Middletown’s Washington Street.
Three friends from Manchester opened Labyrinth Brewing in August. Labyrinth tries to keep its beer offerings varied with several standards in the rotation. Turbo Love Juice, a New England-style IPA, and Erebus, an oatmeal stout, is also brewed on a regular basis. Read more here.
Problem Solved Brewing
2 North Road, East Windsor
A math teacher at RHAM High School in Hebron and an engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems, who met as homebrewers several years collaborated to open Problem Solved in mid-September. They keep their beers rotating consistently, but plan to feature at least two hoppy offerings, a “middle of the road, easy drinker” type of brew, and at least one dark beer. Read more here.
River Bend Bookshop opened in November in the space formally occupied by Jan’s On Main. Owner Meghan Hayden and her part-time staff of writers and poets handpick the books that are in the shop. Read more here.
446 Silas Deane Hwy., Wethersfield
A book lover can find quiet refuge among the shelves of books and armchairs at That Bookstore, located on the Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield. The independent bookstore is owned and operated by Karen Opper and her daughter Belle, and recently was approved to sell beer, wine and cider to patrons over 21. Read more here.
55 Memorial Road, West Hartford
Cyclebar — a franchise, boutique spin class program — has opened in West Hartford Center’s Blue Back Square. Though the concept and classes are similar to the those at the Canton location, West Hartford’s studio has a stadium setup with three different levels for up to 48 riders. Read more here.
860 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield
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Lara’s Labyrinth is one of the Greater Hartford area’s newest escape room venues. The Wethersfield gaming center, which opened in October, has two rooms and two more are expected to open soon. Read more here.
Spaces, located in Blue Back Square, offers move-in ready offices for startups and long-standing businesses alike. The company spans two floors on Raymond Road, where REI had previously been located. Read more here.
Wagging Tails Pet Resort and Spaw is a doggie daycare, dog boarding, pet grooming spa and the state’s first indoor dog park, according to owner Krista Cugno Lofquist. There are both self-serve and professional dog grooming services available. Read more here.