The former La Paloma Sabanera storefront in Hartford's Frog Hollow has a new tenant, but it isn't a Middle Eastern-themed deli.
The Capitol Grocery, which has operated in a smaller space two doors away since 2011, has moved into the storefront, at the corner of Capitol and Babcock streets.
Syed Bukhari, the grocery's owner, said his brother Shahzaib backed off his restaurant plans after La Paloma's former owner launched a petition drive against the building landlord over repairs and tenant selection. The petition is part of a larger push to make landlords in the city more accountable for what goes on in their buildings.
The leader of the petition drive, Virginia Iacobucci, didn't see the connection. "The petition and the work we're doing with landlords has nothing to do with Capitol Grocery" or the restaurant proposal, Iacobucci said. "We haven't even done anything with it yet."
Syed Bukhari said he took over the space because his brother had already signed a lease. Syed Bukhari said he had been looking for a larger space for his store.
The grocery is expanding its offerings to include coffee, pastries, doughnuts and deli sandwiches, Syed Bukhari said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at