With the goal of opening five restaurants in five years, it was time for restaurateurs Neil Sharp and Michael Swanson to look south of Hartford.
The business partners own three restaurants in Vernon and Manchester and as of Aug. 22 are now the proud operators of . Just one more restaurant to go and they will have fulfilled their goal.
Of their reasoning for venturing south of the capital city, Sharp said, "It's good to get on this side of the river, and this community can always use another good restaurant."
Sharp describes The Stone and Paddle as a "full-service restaurant,” but recently admitted its similarity to brick-oven pizza houses, with the exception of the brick-oven.
"We use stone ovens, not brick,” he said.
The pizza that emerges has a “California-style thin dough with a little more air," Sharp said recently. "We make all of our own dough. And we make the bread for our sandwiches, too."
The new restaurant occupies the former home of Barb's Pizza is already seeing its business surge. Its recent drew hundreds, and with specials like half-price appetizers and salads after 5 p.m. on Mondays and $2.75 pints of Coors Lite seven days a week, the owners hope to continue with their good fortune.
Sharp maintains that the success of his restaurants, which also includes Manchester's Three Amigos Mexican Taqueria, in addition to the other Stone and Paddle locations in that town and Vernon, can be attributed to his focus to create "a fun, clean environment” and to find “good people to work with who want to grow with us."
The Stone and Paddle is located at 154 New Britain Avenue and is open Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.