WALLINGFORD — Arles and Boggs, a new vegan restaurant, is slated to open next week after months of renovations.
“With any restaurant, it’s just the way things go,” said Sarah Sharif, restaurant manager, about the delays. Her parents, Sam Sharif and Sonia Gomez, are helping her open the restaurant at 100 Quinnipiac St., formerly home to Tata’s Restaurant.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will open Oct. 17 and feature a dining room and cafe space.
The family had to work with the landlord to install new plumbing and walls, build a kitchen and repair a hole in the kitchen floor. They also had to deal with some water damage and make repairs to the basement.
“We put all our time, money, effort and resources into it,” Sam Sharif said.
Much of the work was done by family and friends, Sarah Sharif said.
“We’re modest people with modest means,” she said.
Sarah Sharif said her goal was to open around this time. They found the restaurant space early and it needed a lot of work, so she felt she had the time she needed to fix it up.
“Although we weren’t ready to move forward, this is exactly what I wanted as far as a location,” she said.
The menu will focus on home-style, comfort food that’s completely free of animal ingredients.
Both vegans and vegetarians don’t eat meat, but vegans also rule out any other product derived from an animal, including dairy, eggs, honey and gelatin.
Sarah Sharif said she’s been a vegetarian for more than eight years. Prior to opening Arles and Boggs, she studied art and photography at college, pursued nursing and worked at ION Restaurant in Middletown.
“I can’t ethically sit there and flip burgers and sell steaks when that’s not something I feel OK with in my own lifestyle,” she said. “I couldn’t serve something I can’t stand behind.”
The family is originally from Brooklyn, New York and moved to Connecticut in November 2008. Sarah Sharif lives in Wallingford and her parents live in Meriden.
The family’s lease on the property is seven years, with a seven-year renewal option, Sam Sharif said.
Tim Ryan, the town's economic development specialist, said the restaurant’s opening is “eagerly anticipated.”
“Although there are vegan choices on several menus in town,” Ryan said, “it adds to a very nice bounty of different tastes, cultural taste and dietary preferences.”
The restaurant is within walking distance to the train station, he added, allowing people from out of town to visit and dine in.
“People are making Wallingford a dining destination,” he said.