New South Norwalk Eateries Greet Diners As Restaurant Week Begins

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Local, a new restaurant, opened in late May at the corner of Washington and Main streets in South Norwalk.
Local, a new restaurant, opened in late May at the corner of Washington and Main streets in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
A railroad trestle is part of the decor at Local.
A railroad trestle is part of the decor at Local. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
A strong lineup of draft beers is available at Local, which recently opened in South Norwalk.
A strong lineup of draft beers is available at Local, which recently opened in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
A 3-dimensional mural adds to the ambiance at Quartino Trattoria and Vineria, which opened on Washington Street in Norwalk in May.
A 3-dimensional mural adds to the ambiance at Quartino Trattoria and Vineria, which opened on Washington Street in Norwalk in May. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
Quartino Trattoria and Vineria will be participating in Restaurant Week.
Quartino Trattoria and Vineria will be participating in Restaurant Week. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
Johnny Utah's opened in April on Washington Street in Norwalk. It replaced Black Bear Saloon.
Johnny Utah's opened in April on Washington Street in Norwalk. It replaced Black Bear Saloon. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
Match, a popular 15-year mainstay on Washington Street, underwent a recent renovation.
Match, a popular 15-year mainstay on Washington Street, underwent a recent renovation. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
Match is one of the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week in South Norwalk.
Match is one of the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
Harlan Publick, which has a sister franchise in Stamford, will open shortly in South Norwalk. It is adjacent to the recently-opened Ironworks apartment complex.
Harlan Publick, which has a sister franchise in Stamford, will open shortly in South Norwalk. It is adjacent to the recently-opened Ironworks apartment complex. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

NORWALK, Conn. – Diners will have the option of choosing from some newly opened eateries in South Norwalk as Connecticut celebrates Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week runs through Friday, with participating businesses offering lunches and dinners with prices ranging from $10.99 to $29.99.

The newest restaurant to launch is Local, at Washington and Main Street. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant opened in late May and features 34 craft beers on tap. A clever interior designer includes a railroad trestle as part of the décor. One of its unique features is special Happy Hour pricing that escalates as the afternoon winds down. Happy Hour begins at 3 p.m. with $3 beers. Find out more about the restaurant online. (There is also a Local restaurant in Fairfield.)

Another newcomer is Quartino Trattoria and Vineria, which opened in May at 120 Washington St. The Italian restaurant and wine bar has seating for 70 and features an amazing 3D mural of a winery that blends into the backdrop. The setting is contemporary and casual. Owner Giuseppe Cinque, who has owned several Italian restaurants in Fairfield County, brings nearly two decades of experience to the table. Find out more about Quartino on its Facebook page. 

Johnny Utah’s opened in April at the former home of the Black Bear Saloon. It is the third Johnny Utah’s location, and its features include a mechanical bull, barbecue and Southern cuisine as well as a collection of more than 40 beers and drinks served in 42-ounce boot-shaped mugs. Find out more on the Johnny Utah’s website

Another restaurant is scheduled to open soon. Harlan Public plans to open this month on the northwest corner of Washington and Water streets. The restaurant will be similar to its sister location, Stamford’s Harlan Social. The restaurant is adjacent to the recently opened Ironworks apartments, a 108-unit complex. A 66-unit apartment complex, The Pearl, is scheduled to break ground at 99 Washington St. this summer. The restaurant Washington Prime is also scheduled to open in July in the Ironworks building.

Some of the longstanding restaurants in Norwalk have been getting makeovers. Match, a 15-year mainstay at 98 Washington St., was renovated from top to bottom in two weeks earlier this year. Chef and owner Matt Storch supervised many of the renovations, and has created a rotating lunch menu that diners will enjoy. Find out more about the restaurant on its website.

Storch is one of the many restaurant owners and shopkeepers in SoNo who is at the business on a daily basis. While some of the owners might have other establishments, most of them focus on their enterprise in South Norwalk.

Match, Quartino and Johnny Utah’s are among the Restaurant Week participants. For the complete list of Restaurant Week locations in South Norwalk, visit the Connecticut Restaurant Week website

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The pedigree of owners notwithstanding, the area has already far exceeded the saturation point for these fly-by-night eateries that will last maybe a couple of years (at best). Washington Street and North & South Main simply do not need more beverage and food choices. The area needs more stable retail establishments ( NOT tat parlors) and property owners like Starwood have made that virtually impossible.
The area will continue to decay, property values for apartment and condos will plummet, and the area will revert back to it's 1970's condition before "Sono" was revitalized. Until then it will continue a long, slow decay.
Bon appetit!