West Hartford Business Buzz: December 6, 2021 – We-Ha

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

By Ronni Newton

Last week seemed like a really long, and really busy week – even though I was only in town for four days – but at the same time we are already almost a full week into December and our family is suddenly completely immersed in the Christmas season.

Covering Holiday Stroll on Thursday (story and photo gallery here) and the Mitten Run on Sunday (story and photo gallery here) were a great boost to my holiday spirit, as was shopping at the Noah Webster House Holiday Market.

We did celebrate a few family birthdays last week, and Ted was rather confused, and surprised, when we returned home Monday night and he found … several flocks of red flamingos on our lawn! He had previously flocked me for a milestone birthday (after I has asked for it to be kept low key), but my birthday is in June and he had no idea that the Conard Safe Grad committee is now flocking in the fall as well.

Birthday flamingos from Conard Safe Grad, honoring Ted’s 60th birthday. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

We finished up Ted’s birthday celebration on Sunday with the rest of the family, and also celebrated our son-in-law’s birthday, which is tomorrow. He said people mention reading about him in this column, so if you see Matt on Tuesday, please wish him a Happy 28th Birthday!

When I said we’re now immersed in the Christmas season I don’t mean our house is already impeccably decorated – far from it. We have an odd mix – too oddly combined to even be called eclectic – of fall and winter decor going on right now. The outside lights are up (because Ted did that), and we did get our Christmas tree on Saturday (but it’s still outside), but the only inside room that is completely transitioned is the powder room. It’s a project for this week, which I am hoping will be somewhat quiet on the news front.

Saturday night dinner was at Pho 135 – a perfect meal for a chilly evening!

Egg rolls from Pho 135. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Stir fried chicken with vegetables topped with an egg from Pho 135. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Pho with brisket (in a spicy broth) from Pho 135. Photo credit:: Ronni Newton

To remind myself of my own goal: I hope to take some deep breaths, and enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, lights, and spirit of the holiday season. And whatever holidays you celebrate, I hope you can do that, too.

Please continue to support our local businesses, wear your masks indoors if you are not vaccinated – and stay safe and healthy.

If you have information to share about local businesses, please provide details in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].


Here’s this week’s Buzz:

Interior of the soon-to-open Sparrow at 977 Farmington Ave. Courtesy photo

  • The exterior (in feature photo at top of column) of Sparrow is still hidden behind a wooden structure while new windows and doors are being installed for the entryway, but the photo just above is a sneak peek at the interior of the restaurant that will be opening in the former Grant’s space at 977 Farmington Ave. in the Center. Full details about the restaurant owned by former Barteca (Barcelona and bartaco) executive David Boyajian are still being kept under wraps, but acccording to a spokesperson they are “shooting for an ‘early 2022’ opening.” Renovations has been extensive, but is nearly complete with the ceilings installed and a large mural by Bethel-based artist Peter Le Floch (in photo below) is being painted on one of the walls. (Examples of his work can be found on Instagram @peterlafloch.) Kitchen equipment is being installed, and the back bar and private room are being built out now. We’ve been told that they will be drilling down the final recipes once the kitchen is ready, and I hope to be able to share those details soon!

Peter Le Floch is painting a large mural on an interior wall of Sparrow at 977 Farmington Ave. Courtesy photo

  • When they had to close for a few months in the early days of the pandemic in 2020, cycling studio Tribe moved out of their Farmington Avenue space and secured a new spot at 635 New Park Ave., Building 4. It’s been a long journey, but Tribe is getting ready to reopen within the next few weeks. More details to follow.

Tribe will be reopening soon at 635 New Park AVe., Building 4. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Yes, the photo below is of a parking lot – and many people are going to be very happy about it. The expansion of the parking area where DORO Marketplace is located (southwest corner of New Britain Avenue and South Main Street) was approved by the Town Council a few years ago, and it’s now paved and nearly ready for use pending installation of the lighting, which is apparently a supply chain-related delay.

The expanded parking lot near DORO Marketplace is almost ready for use. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • I don’t have a photo of the specific space, but EbLens, which specializes in “streetwear and sneakers,” will soon be opening in the former Disney Store space at Westfarms. “I think it will complement our existing merchandise mix at Westfarms,” said a Westfarms spokesperson, who confirmed the lease has been executed. For more information about EbLens, visit their website.

Westfarms main entrance. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • In last week’s column I mentioned a retail shop that had opened at 127 Park Rd., and founder Kim Colapietro has provided the details about Let It Bloom Gift Shop. Colapietro is landscape professional with almost 30 years of experience who has been an owner/operator of a landscaping business for much of her career. “Our new store on 127 Park Street in West Hartford is a unique gift shop with high quality thoughtful gifts at truly moderate costs,” she said. “The store conveys an excellent collection of occasional stock, currently featuring many Christmas holiday items, such as trees, ornaments, plants, etc. In the near future, many local artisan goods will be on offered with handmade jewelry, soaps, and candles on display. When you purchase from us, you are keeping up the service and quality of our parent company, K Enterprise, LLC. K Enterprise has been in business since 2012 providing landscape designs, perennial gardens, decorative winter containers, spring and fall cleanups, fencing, etc. With an energizing scope of notable, fun, and smart gifts, Let It Bloom can supply items, gifts, and volume orders at extraordinary costs. Custom designs for centerpieces, decorative planters and containers, etc. are offered and filled with the most awesome and novel things around.” A few examples can be found below. The shop is open Thursday and Friday from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Appointments can be made for other days by contacting Colpietro at [email protected].

Courtesy of Let It Bloom

Courtesy of Let It Bloom

Courtesy of Let It Bloom

Courtesy of Let It Bloom

Courtesy of Let It Bloom

  • Congratulations to School of Rock on their official grand opening! The school, which offered performance-based music education, opened during the summer at 20 Isham Road but had their official ribbon cutting Friday afternoon followed by a party later in the day featuring some of the school’s musicians.

Ribbon cutting at School of Rock. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

School of Rock grand opening party. Courtesy of Cara Paiuk

School of Rock grand opening party. Courtesy of Cara Paiuk

  • There were activities throughout town last week to mark Giving Tuesday, and one I attended was a celebrity bartending event at Union Kitchen. Local media served up drinks during the fundraiser for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance.

Celebrity bartenders at Union Kitchen raising money for the CT Brain Tumor Alliance (from left) Joe D’Ambrosio, Jimmy Altman, Samaia Hernandez, and Bob Maxon. Courtesy photo

Celebrity bartenders at Union Kitchen raising money for the CT Brain Tumor Alliance (from left) Stephanie Simoni, Brian Shactman, and Alyssa Taglia. Courtesy photo

  • Friends of Feeney celebrated their new mural and held a fundraiser Saturday at Lyon’s Auto Service on New Britain Avenue, raising money for Journey Home and Connecticut Foodshare. Iron & Grain provided food, guests were entertained by the local band 06.

Local jazz band 06 performed at a Friends of Feeney fundraiser at Lyon’s Auto Service. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • ICYMI, New York-based “elevated fiesta” restaurant Rosa Mexicano announced plans to open in 2022 in the former Bar Louie space in Blue Back Square. Full details can be found here.

Future Rosa Mexicano. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • A new mixed-use development is being proposed for 920 Farmington Avenue, where two older office buildings are currently located. Click here for the details.
  • West Hartford native Rachel Lyons, executive director of Space for Humanity, recently joined Sir Richard Branson and the CEO of Omaze, surprising a woman who won a trip to space through a sweepstakes that also benefits the nonprofit. Click here for the full story.

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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