- Front Porch
WALLINGFORD — A North Haven-based restaurant is expanding its business by opening a second location at the former Cafe 181.
Hard Hat Cafe, 65 Old Broadway St., North Haven, will open its second location at 181 N. Colony Road, according to owner John Acanfora. Cafe 181, formerly known as Sabbatical’s Cafe, opened in January after two months of renovations. It recently closed.
The Wallingford location is expected to open in two weeks, Acanfora said, during the first weekend in September.
“This one went very well,” Acanfora said of the North Haven location. “A lot of people we know in Wallingford talked to us and said it’d be nice if we moved to Wallingford.”
Acanfora, a North Haven resident, has owned Hard Hat Cafe for 11 years. He said the Wallingford location is far enough away from the North Haven location and the future train station will benefit the business.
Economic Development Commission Chairman Joe Mirra said he was glad to see Hard Hat Cafe expanding into town to “refill that location.”
“It’s a good location and I look forward to welcoming another restaurant to the community,” Mirra said.
When it opens, Wallingford’s Hard Hat Cafe will be similar to the North Haven restaurant, Acanfora said. It’ll have 12 big screen televisions and a football package for fans to come down and watch a game. The only difference between the two locations, he added, was that the Wallingford site doesn’t have an outdoor pavilion.
The menu will stay the same and that it’ll feature Hard Hat Cafe’s wings, which the restaurant is well known for, Acanfora said.
In the future, Acanfora said he would be open to opening more Hard Hat Cafe locations around the state — not just the New Haven area.
“We’ve been approached by people who want to have a good solid sports bar in the town,” he said. “We wouldn’t be opposed to going anywhere in the state.”
While Hard Hat Cafe has the big screen televisions, Acanfora said he doesn’t want it to be known as just a sports bar and enjoys seeing families visit the restaurant.
“We want to have an establishment where people feel comfortable coming in — if they wanted to bring their kids, they can,” he said. “We don’t want to be a rough and tumble bar. We want to be a more family neighborhood bar.”
Warehouse full of tobacco products, $120,000 cash seized from Meriden …
MERIDEN — After a four-month investigation, the state Department of Revenue Services seized over $120,000 and more than two truckloads of tobacco Tuesday from a … more ...
Police clear teacher in classroom duct-tape incident …
SOUTHINGTON — A teacher at Southington High School has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing following an investigation into an incident in which police say he … more ...
Police identify hiker who died after fall in Hubbard Park …
MERIDEN — Police have identified the man who died after a fall in Hubbard Park last week. Mark Valenti, 49, of New Britain, died Sept. … more ...
Meriden man charged in stabbing at North Haven funeral …
NORTH HAVEN — A Meriden man has been charged after police say he stabbed someone several times during a funeral Wednesday morning. Robert Ferrie, 54, … more ...
Details emerge in delayed response to Meriden house fire …
MERIDEN — An audio recording and incident report from a house fire last month highlight communication issues that led to a delayed response. A longtime … more ...