New Restaurants and Apartments Have Main Street Swinging Again in Downtown Hartford
January 23, 2008
Main Street in Downtown Hartford is truly Main Street once again – from a world class library blocks from the successful Connecticut Convention Center, to the overflowing community college in the renovated G. Fox building.
“Walking along Main Street in Downtown Hartford is like taking a walk through time,” says Mayor Eddie Perez. “In the last five years, more than 15 businesses have popped-up between Capitol Avenue and I-84 – they’ve started-up and more importantly, they have grown, and developed. When more than 40,000 square feet of retail space becomes a vibrant part of the fabric of our community, it is an enormous show of confidence and support of the investment in Hartford as a whole.”
What do we have in Hartford that the suburbs don’t have – can’t have? The answer is a modern library with facilities for everybody. The Hartford Public Library is truly a poor man’s university with music, classes, books and more.
Match that with the brilliant renovation of the Sage Allen building. Just a few years ago, this central location stunk; yes, literally smelled bad. Boarded up, dirty and smelly, this building facing Pratt street was a disgrace to the city. These days, a sleek, new restaurant, Dish Bar & Grill, occupies the ground floor and most of the apartments above and behind it are are full. Feet are on the street.
The former G. Fox building has also proved to be a good investment. Despite initial misgivings and a few problems, most of the students and faculty are pleased. Several businesses have prospered on the site, several have changed formats, such as Euro Cafe, now relaunched as Bistro 942 with breakfast all day and lunch. The space increases in commercial viability as the action increases.
What is next? The “American Airlines Building” across from the community college is coming along quickly. Apartments will be renting early this spring, joining Woody’s, the Fish Tank (a great little sports bar) and Quizno’s sandwich shop in the once nearly empty building. Next door Kyto Sushi and Wine Bar is about to open with a rooftop restaurant as an added attraction.