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Friday, July 12, 2013


I don't post commercial events here too often, but I think this one is worth it. When many business owners are bailing on Hartford, at least one continues to invest in Hartford and grow while also creating new jobs for people, many of whom are Hartford residents. Jerry Fornacelli, owner of Hartford's Russian Lady, the Tavern Downtown and the newest addition the Rocking Horse Café.

Although the Tavern Downtown has been a staple of the Union place dining establishments for some time, Jerry recently relocated to the former Coach's space directly next to the Russian Lady Café and expanded the restaurant . Just south of the Russian lady, Jerry renovated a vacant store front and created the Rocking horse Café. The atmosphere makes you think you are in the old west  with the pine barn board siding, saddles and country Western music.

The latest addition to the Ann Street triple crown this summer are the weekly block parties, complete with the mechanical bull in the middle of the street, free for anyone brave enough to jump on and trust Pat at the controls. He hasn't launched anyone off yet, but then again I haven't climbed on .

The block parties are events that usually draw over a thousand people to celebrate Hartford in the block of Ann Uccello Street between Asylum Street and Allyn Place.. It is great to see people out enjoying Hartford and patronizing the other restaurants and bars around the are being drawn in by the block party.

These events are a gamble for the owner because they require a rather large police presence, street closures , porta-potties and fencing and all the logistics, none of this is cheap, the Police coverage alone is a few thousand every week, even if it gets rained out. All that can change on a moments notice with the weather, but Jerry is an entertainer and I think he thrives on the crowds and seeing people enjoying all that Hartford has to offer.

Tonight is the flashback to the 80's Blockparty and should be a great night. It will probably bring back memories to many of us to the first time we sat in the Barber Chair by the front entrance drinking your first , now famous, Russian Lady Long Island Ice Tea and then keeping the hurricane glass. Some of those memories I am sure many of us would like to forget, like the shots of Peach tree schnapps when that was first introduced

Luckily most of us have grown up, or at least grown older, but tonight should be a good night, just seeing crowds downtown is a good thing.

And again, in full disclosure, I do have a business relationship with Jerry but I still love the place, business or not. Say hello if you stop by

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