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West Hartford Business Buzz March 17: Openings, Closings and Other News

A round-up of West Hartford business news.

Welcome to this week's installment of West Hartford Business Buzz!

People in West Hartford love to be "in the know" about happenings in town, especially the openings – and closings – of local businesses.

We hear things all the time, and some of them turn into big stories. But sometimes we don't have enough news to write an entire story, even though the information is definitely newsworthy. For a while we ran a "Visions for Vacancies" feature on Sundays, but it was getting to be difficult to find vacancies every week.

Every Sunday we'll highlight the business stories you may have missed during the past week, and give you the scoop on the other news you may not have heard about. And if you have tips about businesses opening or closing, please include them in the comments or send an email to ronni.newton@patch.com.

  • Last week we reported seeing a sign on the door of Comina in West Hartford Center indicating that the store would be closing on March 24 after 28 years in West Hartford. Manager Lisa Pierotti confirmed that the company plans to focus its business in the Boston area and the shoreline. In addition to closing the West Hartford store, Comina will not reopen its seasonal Watch Hill space. All sales are final, and whatever inventory is left at the end of the month will be distributed to the seven remaining stores in the Boston area, Mystic, New Canaan, and Providence.
  • Taking Comina's spot will be Village Vitality – which owner Neal Smoller calls "a new breed of vitamin store." Smoller, a pharmacist, is currently owner of Village Apothecary in Saugerties, NY and Woodstock Apothecary in Woodstock, NY, but this will be his first standalone vitamin store. Smoller said he will stock only products which he has determined through evidence-based testing to be of the highest quality and that provide the stated results. The store will also employ a highly-trained local dietitian as manager, and will also sell healthy snacks, natural and chemical-free skincare products, and healthy snacks and supplements for pets. Village Vitality will also have a tea bar. Look for more details soon about the May 1 opening.
  • Bella Gusta owner Lynda Przybylski is excited about her soon-to-be new neighbor, Sev Shak. The clothing and accessory store is moving from Avon to the space formerly occupied by JT Ghamo which never reopened its West Hartford location after a fire last year. Przybylski said that Bella Gusta's loyal customers returned in force when her store reopened, and she's hoping that having a clothing store next door wil attract even more business.
  • Penzeys Spices is spreading out. The store will be expanding its 24 LaSalle Rd. location to include the currently vacant storefront formerly occupied by Artichoke.
  • Grafix has closed its store at the corner of South Main St. and Sedgwick Rd. What would you like to see in that space?
whtfd March 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Would like to see a unique home store make it in WEHA. Something unique vs. the mall and BBS chain stores.
amystery726 March 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM
A store devoted to vitamins and the ilk? Ugh. We need stores for browsing and which draw people in. With a nutrition store, whole foods, cvs plus a tea store in blue back this is so unnecessary and unappealing.
Jennifer McDonagh March 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM
I'd love to see a deli/convenience/coffee store back on Sedgwick.
Amayo March 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Top Level Salon is now open on Lasalle road where the Shish Hookah Lounge used to be and are taking appointments.
Bruce March 18, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Enough salons. Enough vitamin stores. Enough chain stores. I really can't believe great places like Comina, Bazilians, Center Squeeze, and Readers' Feast leave and generic companies move in. We need THOSE kinds of places and there are so many little spots for them but they don't seem to get business. What about a Skate/Skateboard/Ski shop on Park Rd. instead of another tattoo parlor? How about a cool wine bar in a small, brick building? Could have live music, coffee, wine, board games and books. Or a used cd/video/game store?? A REAL bakery that sells fresh homemade bread, pies, etc?
whtfd March 19, 2013 at 01:44 AM
readers feast was great- loved the great spots Bruce mentioned. They are missed. we need something like it again.
Dr Bob March 21, 2013 at 11:19 PM
I'm with Bruce on the wine (and cheese...remember those?) place with a few nites of live music featuring local talent, young and old. Bring the community (and the generations) together. Everything from Bob Dylan to The Lumineers. Time to wake up this sleepy little hollow.

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