A new store devoted to all things Hartford will open to the public next Tuesday, November 16, in Downtown Hartford at 45 Pratt Street, formerly the site of the Hartford Welcome Center. A formal grand opening celebration for the new store will be held on Saturday, November 20.
The Hartford Store will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm. Jim Lewis, President of Business for Downtown Hartford and owner of Harvey and Lewis Opticians, said the store will remain open throughout the holiday season. It may remain open for a longer period of time depending on customer response, Lewis added.
The store will sell a wide variety of items, all Hartford or Connecticut-related, such as shirts and other memorabilia from the Hartford Whalers, Hartford Colonials and the University of Connecticut. There will also be items from several local museums and colleges. Food items will include barbeque sauce from Black-Eyed Sally’s BBQ & Blues Restaurant, salad dressing from Tapas Restaurant and marinara sauce created at the old Frank’s Restaurant.
The Hartford Store will also be selling a special Christmas tree ornament commissioned by Governor Jodi Rell, which depects Hartford’s Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Arch.
Space for The Hartford Store was donated to Business for Downtown Hartford by Simon Konover and Philip Schoenberger. The store will be staffed by students from Capital Community College, the University of Hartford and High School, Inc., who are volunteering their time.
Downtown Hartford received another boost this week when Governor M. Jodi Rell announced that Cinema Grill, a combination movie theater and dining complex, has signed a lease and will be the first tenant for the Front Street development at Adriaen’s Landing. The theater is scheduled to open by mid-2011.
“This is a major step forward for our ongoing efforts to bring new vitality and new economic development to downtown Hartford,” Governor Rell said. “I am tremendously pleased to have the first tenant in place for Front Street – and to have that tenant be such an exciting attraction.”
Cinema Grill, which operates a number of locations in the Southeast and Midwest, gives customers the chance to dine while watching a movie. The theater will occupy 22,500 square feet of the total 65,000 square feet available at Front Street, and will offer a state-of-the-art, multi-screen cinema, pub-style food and a full-service bar.
The theater will offer a diverse line-up of movies, ranging from mainstream pictures to independent and foreign films.
“Adding an attraction that combines dining and entertainment is a great way to ‘put feet on the street’ and create a buzz of activity in the Adriaen’s Landing District,” Governor Rell said.