It's the new year, and time for a new column. Welcome to the second 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, like the plans for Pepe's Pizza to open in Elmwood.
Sometimes we don't have enough news to write an entire story, but 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 email@example.com.
Here's this week's round-up:
- Sliders is working furiously to prepare for its opening in the Elmwood shopping center where Stop & Shop and Crazy Bruce's are currently located. Company officials say the "best guestimate" is early spring – perhaps the beginning of April. Get ready for your kids to beg to go there for wings after games this spring!
- Neighborhood Market by Walmart is hiring, and advised us this week that they hope to have the grocery store open for business in Bishops Corner by late February.
- LOL (Learning or Leisure), which opened at 7 N. Main St. in November, held an official ribbon-cutting this past week. Mayor Scott Slifka, Minority Leader Denise Hall, and Chamber of Commerce leaders were on hand for the celebration.
- Speaking of Pepe's, the restaurant's application for its future Elmwood location was unanimously approved by the Town Council on Tuesday. Opening is planned for July 1. West Hartford Puppy Center and Aquarium owner Ron Brunner said he would be remodeling and changing the emphasis of his business to concentrate more on corals and other aquarium products, but will definitely stay open for business and is looking forward to the Pepe's opening.
- Thirty5 Bar & Grille is donating 20 percent of its dining room sales on Jan. 29 to Playhouse on Park.
- The former Au Bon Pain space in Blue Back Square is still vacant, but we hear there's another restaurant preparing to move into that space. Does anyone have any more details?