SOUTHINGTON — A Berlin-based Italian deli and bakery is planning to open a location on Center Street in downtown next month.
Enzo Formica, owner of The Bakery on the Ave., will offer fresh-baked bread, pizza slices, pastries, stuffed breads and coffee at 50 Center St. He’s a Southington resident who’s been wanting to open a shop in his hometown.
“We’ve been doing the farmers’ market for four years and the Italian festival. We have a lot of customers out of Southington,” he said.
The Bakery on Center Street Deli & Cafe will have similar hours and nearly all the same foods as the Farmington Avenue location in Berlin, with the exception of hot lunch. Customers can still grab salads, pasta salads and pizza slices.
Formica said the Center Street bakery will likely be open during downtown night events, such as Music on the Green.
The bakery will have more gluten-free options, imported Italian foods and espresso and cappuccino.
The location was formerly home to a florist, Rose to the Occasion.
Formica has room for two bistro-style tables in the bakery and wants to get town approval for dining on the sidewalk as well.
He hoped to open two weeks ago, but has been busy with wholesale orders. The bakery could be open next month but there’s no firm date.
Dawn Miceli, Southington Chamber of Commerce board chairwoman, said she has long heard from residents that the closing of Nutmeg Bakery on Eden Avenue in 2001 left a void. Formica also referenced the old Nutmeg Bakery in describing what he hopes to bring to Center Street.
Miceli said business groups are looking to shut down Center Street to vehicular traffic at times, provide wireless internet access and other measures to encourage walkers. That would build on the attention the downtown gets during festivals and other events.
“He can’t have picked a better spot than Center Street right now,” Miceli said.