Would it be a Business Buzz without restaurants being mentioned? Well, yeah, I guess, but man there is a lot of exciting activity concerning the eateries in town.
Avert (pronounced “A-vair”), the French brasserie that is the brainchild of Treva owner Dorjan Puka, has had its scheduled opening pushed back from mid-September to sometime in October. Puka said that the delay has been caused due to difficulties in obtaining authentic construction materials. Puka said Thursday that he is “very excited” to open soon.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana officially announced this week that it will open its Elmwood location at 1148 New Britain Ave. in mid-September. “[T]he new location is an extension of Pepe’s signature modest décor, family atmosphere, and simple menu,” according to a press release. “The focal point of the space is the coal-fired pizza oven which fires up to 600 degrees.” Can’t. Wait.
The renovations for the expansion of Penzeys Spices is nearing completion, according to store manager Rose Hawthorne. The store at 24 LaSalle Road is doubling its floor space by taking over the storefront formerly occupied by Artichoke Boutique (which closed) and the West Hartford Professional Barber Shop (which remained open). The renovations are expected to be finished by mid-October. Hawthorne said that the expansion will basically mean more of everything that Penzeys already offers, as well as nicer displays. In a bit of musical chairs - West Hartford Professional Barbershop moved one storefront down. The address will remain the same - 18 LaSalle Road. With the move, the barbershop was able to add a chair.
Sadly, Sunday, Sept. 8 is the last day for La Perla Jewelers, which is located at 1000 Farmington Ave. "June was the worst ever in my 21 years of business," owner Bob La Perla told Ronni Newton in July. Many factors could be the cause, but he really thinks "fear of the unknown" in Connecticut has hurt fine jewelry sales. La Perla said that he has several friends who have decided to leave the state because of the tax situation here.
Speaking of barbers, have you checked out Bristle and Blade? If not, the story is here.
A Patch reader asked me via Twitter what the status of Potbelly Sandwich Shop is in Blue Back Square. Using all of my investigative powers, this is what I came up with. Workers were renovating the space and a sign on the window said that jobs were available. One may apply at www.potbelly.com. In addition, the website said that the 51 Memorial Road, Ste. C50 location is scheduled to open on Oct. 15.
West Hartford residents 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.
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.