Monday, January 02, 2006

i didn't know the piper brook was closing

nor did i know il capriccio had already closed. it's a shame the neighborhood joints have to close. those are my favorite types. i'm not a 'max' or 'grants' type o' babe. i'm more for the relaxed atmospheres, the simple foods and the more down to earth clientele

Piper Brook Restaurant's Last Call
Courant Staff Writer
January 2 2006
WEST HARTFORD -- After 25 years, the Piper Brook Restaurant, a neighborhood place known for its relaxed atmosphere and loyal regulars, closed for good Saturday. "You could always come here and be with friends," said Alison Byrnes, 38, of Wethersfield.As '70s rock music blared near the bar, Byrnes recounted all the things she loved about the place. There was the food - grilled shrimp in a sauce of Russian dressing, Tabasco and "some magic stuff we don't know about" was a house specialty, she said. There was the ambience - relaxed and unpretentious. And above all, there were the people. "It's a sad day," Byrnes said, brushing away a tear. "It's like in the top five of sad days."But in the days before closing, it was hard for the owner, the cook, the bartender and the waitresses to agree who deserved the most pity. Joe Mendes, the cook, declared it wasn't him. With quick hands and endless energy, Mendes is the kind of person that is always doing something."Life goes on," he said, shrugging off the loss of a job he has held for 18 years. "You can't cry over it. You get another job. What are you going to do?"Mendes plans to work at the Chowder Pot IV in Hartford. It's a good job, Mendes said. But it won't be like the Piper Brook, where he ran the show and where the pots, sauté pans, knives and chopping boards were hung neatly over the gas stove top exactly the way he wanted. "I feel sorry for the boss," Mendes said Friday, glancing toward the dining room where owner Roger Grano, a former Hartford firefighter, was contemplating his departure from the restaurant business. "He ain't got nothing. He can't sell it," Mendes continued. "That is why if you don't own your own building, it is not good.".............

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I write from Argentina. I ask for excuses for my Englishman....
I read your article, I am upset by much that Piper Brook closes. I used to lived in Hartford for one year when tape-worm 18 years old and I was employed at the Piper Brook. Joe was a great main friend for my, I speak with him telephonically 3 years ago and now I feel that nevermore pus to do.
I was lucky to know his wife, children and also to the whole personnel of the Piper Brook.
I am grateful much that you find written this note and is very importantly for me to contact again Joe, for what I ask you for the favor of which if in some moment you see him pass my mail to him.
Thank you very much
Gustavo Luna