Microbrewery, Mexican restaurant slot into South Norwalk — with more to come
By Alexander SouleUpdated
For weeks, the brown wrapping paper has been conspicuous covering the windows of two South Norwalk establishments undergoing renovations at opposite ends of Washington Street.
The first of two big reveals is on tap for Friday — with plenty more changes afoot for SoNo heading into the New Year.
The brew pub formerly known as Hell or High Water — and before that known as Guvnor’s Brewing — will reopen Friday as Iron Brewing, with three partners taking their own crack at creating a microbrewery in South Norwalk where two others have failed.
Iron Brewing is taking over space at 136 Washington St. briefly occupied by Hell or High Water, which opened in April under owner Mayub Murshed and brewmaster Anderson Sant’anna Delima, but which shuttered after just six months of operation. Guvnor’s Brewing had not fared much better, closing in December 2014 after less than two years in business.
Looking ahead to 2018, opposite the big SoNo sign at the corner of Washington Street and North Main Street, Evarito’s is planning to open at an unspecified date in a mystery storefront featuring its fox logo and no other identifying signage.
On it Facebook page, Evarito’s bills itself as a Mexican restaurant to be managed by SKAL Restaurant Group, owner of Cask Republic just around the corner on Washington Street and The Ginger Man in Greenwich, with SKAL principal Christian Burns posting notice last week for a liquor permit.
Evarito’s will occupy the ground level of The Avrick building, a onetime furniture store building owned today by the Stamford-based developer GNA Associates, with Dolce Italian Ice & Cafe on the cusp of its own debut. The Washington Street plaza that fronts Evarito’s has ample space for an outdoor dining patio, with the roof offering potential as a hospitality space as well.
Evarito’s arrival will fill a void created by the recent closure of Zapata Mexican Restaurant, with the business listed for sale after opening only in 2016 in a narrow restaurant space at 84 Washington St. that was home for three decades to El Acapulco Restaurant. In a brokerage listing, Zapata’s owners stated the restaurant was profitable but they went ahead and closed it anyway, citing a need to focus on their flagship Zapata restaurant in Palisades, N.Y.
Also closing recently two doors over at 88 Washington St. was Estia Greek Restaurant, which had been created in 2007 by the Gavrielidis family who also run the East Norwalk restaurants Harbor Lights, Overton’s and Station House Bar and Grille; and the Room 112 coffee and cocktail lounge at 112 Washington St.
As a group, South Norwalk restaurants had counted on a boon from the 2016 opening of the SoNo Pearl apartments on Washington Street built by Stamford-based FD Rich. Restaurateurs have new cause for hope in the opening planned for next summer of SoNo Residence Inn by Marriott on South Main Street steps from Washington Street under development by FD Rich; and further distant, the 2019 opening of the SoNo Collection mall expected to draw large numbers of visitors to South Norwalk.
The district continues to draw new establishments, with recent openings including Il Posto at 122 Washington St., Spigot Beer at 17 Washington St. and SoNo Falafel at 46 N. Main St., with Americana’s Grubline Cafe coming in the latter half of 2018 around the corner on Water Street.
— Includes prior reporting by Caitlyn Bagley and Leslie Lake, who contributed to this report.
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman