WEST HARTFORD, CT — Rizzuto’s Restaurant & Bar is closing its doors after 14 years in business in West Hartford, effective immediately. A new, upscale Italian food concept eatery by Ridgefield-based Gallo Restaurant Group is slated to open soon in the space atBoulevard.
Stacy Parkinson, owner of West Hartford’s Rizzuto’s, shared the following statement regarding the closure:
“Rizzuto’s West Hartford has had a great run over the last 14 years. Hundreds of thousands of customers have spent time with us and we know we created great experiences and hopefully some terrific memories for most of them. But, after 14 years, it’s time to say goodbye. Our main thanks is to the employees, past and current. Restaurant workers are underpaid, overworked and underappreciated. Our team’s work, particularly during the pandemic, has been incredible. The current team, led by our General Manager Lyn Armington, has been remarkable. Lyn died suddenly last month and her death has hit us hard, but we take great pride in what she and her team did at Rizzuto’s. We hope that many on the team will stay with the new operator. We thank the Town of West Hartford for its help over the years. Its flexibility during the pandemic has been helpful. And we thank the current owners and management of Blue Back Square. Their help during the pandemic allowed us to stay open for the last two years. Now they have found a new tenant, and provided us the opportunity to move on. Rizzuto’s Westport continues to be among the most popular restaurants in Fairfield County. Bill Rizzuto left the West Hartford location to us back in 2020 and will continue to operate Rizzuto’s in his hometown Westport location for a long time to come. For any of you who need a Rizzuto’s fix, head down to Westport where Bill will warmly greet you.”
While Rizzuto’s closure is effective immediately, the new Italian concept called Gran Gusto will be operated by Gallo Restaurant Group, owners of Ridgefield’s Gallo Ristorante. The restaurant’s opening date has not yet been announced, but the new concept will feature “traditional Italian classics” in an upscale format that will “complement the other offerings” in Blue Back Square.
“It is bittersweet to see Rizzuto’s move on, but we are equally as excited to welcome a brand new restaurant concept to Blue Back Square,” said Paul Brandes of Blue Back Capital Partners. “We are confident that the West Hartford community will welcome the new restaurant, as we continue to diversify our lineup of unique dining, retail, and entertainment offerings.”