Picador and the American dream
After five years with Club Sandwich, Gaspar began looking for new opportunities in town. He mentioned that wish to Rivera, a retired restaurateur and hotelier in the area, who also wanted a new project. The pair searched together, and bought Picador, a Spanish restaurant, in August.
The two men met each other when Rivera became a customer at Club Sandwich, and have kept in touch ever since.
Gaspar came to the United States in 1998 from Brazil at age 20. He worked for nine years at Pizza Post in Greenwich.
"I started at washing dishes, then moved to prep, to making pizzas and then managed the restaurant for a year," he said. "Then I decided I wanted my own place and researched the area and found Club Sandwich."
He bought Club Sandwich in 2008 from its previous owner and went about improving its efficiency and customer service. The store has done well, he said, and its success has enabled him to put up the capital for Picador.
Rivera is a veteran of the food and beverage industry. He worked for the Greenwich Hyatt from 2001 to 2010. In the 1960s, he was a minor league baseball player in the Angels and Phillies organizations, where he posted a 3.53 ERA in 68 games over three seasons.
The pair hired veteran Stamford chef Corey Falcone, who said the menu would remain mostly intact in the short term.
Falcone said Gaspar's story was inspiring.
"That's the American dream," he said.
The restaurant will employ between five and eight people depending on the night.
Bonne Nuit closing
Bistro Bonne Nuit is closing after 13 years at 12 Forest St., co-owner Roe D'Uva confirmed.
"I'm sad to be leaving. Devastated," she said. Though she said she could not go into detail, she said the closure is not due to poor business, but to a legal battle between the four owning partners. D'Uva said she's keeping her eyes open for a new spot in town.
"I miss all the customers with all my heart, can't wait to see them all again," she said.
Bistro Bonne Nuit employed 11 people.
Farmer's Table will move across the street into the space, which will offer the restaurant much more room.
Farmer's Table growing
The locavore-friendly Farmer's Table opened in 2011 on 21 Forest St. It currently has room for only 12 diners at a time. Chef and owner Robert Ubaldo was thrilled to have a bigger restaurant.
"It offers us the space to do a lot more things we couldn't do here," he said. "We're eligible to get a liquor license. I could do a cooking class if I wanted to, a breadmaking class for kids."
Ubaldo said that though he will go for a liquor license, he will also try to keep the restaurant a BYOB.
Crumbs out on Elm Street
Crumbs bake shop, located on 89 Elm St., is closing, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy confirmed. No plans have been made yet for what will take its place. The store's building is owned by the Town of New Canaan.
"Because the town owns the building, we can pick and choose what goes in there," Murphy, who is also a member of the Town Council, said. "It's an important space to the center of the village and the character of the town."
Crumbs is a national chain and did not return a voicemail left for comment.
New lunch spot on Vitti
Lunch options just became a bit more varied, as Eclectic announced plans to open at 31 Vitti St. The luncheonette, which will have a takeout dinner option, will celebrate its opening during a reception Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Owner Robert Milano's menu will feature salads, melts, wraps and soups.
Milano has been in kitchens for the last 15 years, most recently at Royal Green, in Stamford.
"It's a menu of all the stuff I've discovered that go together," Milano said. "We do everything in a different way. It's very eclectic."
Old Tuscan spot will be new restaurant
The site of the former Tuscan Osteria e Mercato, 134 Main St., has been rented, Murphy confirmed. No more details were available as of yet, but she said the new renter will also be a restaurant.
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