West Hartford Forums

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Simmer Out of The Center

Posted by whforums on August 24, 2008

Was wandering the Center this weekend and noticed not only that Simmer was dark, but that there was a “Closed” sign hanging on the front door. Did some poking around in the tubes and found that the West Hartford location has disappeared from the Simmer homepage, too.

I’m kind of sad to see Simmer go — their location wasn’t great, but the few times my wife and I ate there we enjoyed our meals enough to say “We should come here more often” (we also in part said that because we feared this eventuality — Simmer, despite its terrific food and service, was often startlingly empty).

If you need your Simmer fix, you can still trek out to Canton. Now we can start wondering about whether another restaurant will have the courage to enter the crowded West Hartford market in Simmer’s previous location …

14 Responses to “Simmer Out of The Center”

  1. Elliot Check said

    The signs were there.
    The last couple of times we stopped in after a meeting we’d find the kitchen closed at 9. Couldn’t even get a salad or sandwich. Ended up going down the block.
    liked the place, I’ll miss it.

    It’s a shame to see another restaurant close in that spot. Does not seem to bring luck.

  2. chalenois said

    Yeah. The Simmer site does seem jinxed. Wasn’t that the third restaurant to fail in that location?

    I was there a few times and thought the food was pretty standard. I’d like to see a greater diversity of restaurants in WeHa (ala Northampton)but with rents as high as they are, that will not happen.

  3. Unbelievable said

    Let’s not loose focus here…it’s not the location, its our town’s spending problem that’s placing burdens on businesses that are causing the closings of many stores in West Hartford.

    Who is addressing this issue at the town level? Our debunked Town Manager certainly isn’t doing a damn thing about it. I’d like to know what, if at all, our town’s “ECONOMIST” Ron VanWinkle (asleep at the wheel) soon to be Town Manager is doing to address this “STORE CLOSING DISEASE” in West Hartford. What long term plan do they have in place to address this issue?

    I guess Chuck Coursey’s very expensive street calming program will take effect once all the stores close.

    What has our Council done to address this issue with the Town Manager (who ever it is?)

  4. Matt said

    Does anyone remember 2002, when we were told that we needed to approve Blue Back to prevent a big box chain store on Raymond Road, and to promote more privately owned businesses like those in the Center, such as Simmer? They also promised a mix of high-end and affordable housing, a remodeling of the old Town Hall / Board of Ed building, an “art house” movie theater, and that Blue Back would help prevent tax increases.

    What did we get? A big box chain store ON MAIN STREET, a glaringly white modernist monstrosity in the middle of what had been a unique stretch of neo-Georgian / Federal style buildings, a standard faux-front shopping mall filled with national chain stores that are driving out the local, privately-owed businesses like Simmer, the destruction of the old Town Hall, a typical movie theater charging the highest ticket prices anywhere, condos and loft apartments that only the wealthy can afford, and to top it off, the imposition of $50 million in debt to pay for all this, and property taxes still increasing at more than twice the rate of inflation.

  5. whforums said

    I think it’s more sensible to attribute the shuttering of Simmer to the fact that it lacked niche and cache at the time of a local restaurant boom.

    And we also can’t lose sight of the fact that Simmer’s location sucked. Separated from the rest of the Center by the post office, it became a local afterthought. And without any way to differentiate themselves from other high quality restaurants, that location must have played a significant role in their lack of business.

    As for Crate and Barrel, I think it’s the best looking thing on Main Street …

  6. Elliot Check said

    “As for Crate and Barrel, I think it’s the best looking thing on Main Street …”

    Sorry sir, I would have to disagree. My wife is the best looking on Main St.

  7. chalenois said

    Ditto on the good looks of C&B.
    Mr. Check, you shouldn’t refer to your wife as a thing.

  8. Greg said

    I never did make it to Simmer…and now I feel guilty, because I’ve eaten at the stupid Cheesecake Factory no fewer than three times. Cheesecake Factory, which is the epitome of crappy corporate food. 😦 I guess I owe Simmer a trip out to Canton, and soon.

    What’s funny, though, is I always assumed Simmer was a national chain, given their slick logo and the fact that I had seen them out in Canton’s strip mall…

  9. turtle said

    Sorry sir, I would have to disagree. My wife is the best looking on Main St.

    Dr. Check got a chuckle out of me for that one. Another sign that these are the end times.

  10. Elliot Check said

    “Mr. Check, you shouldn’t refer to your wife as a thing.”

    Please reread, notice that I was ver careful to LEAVE OUT the word thing.
    I’m not suicidal

  11. Kent said

    We have a $100 gift certificate to Simmer.. now to find that both West Hartford and Canton locations are closed, their phone is still working but the voicemail box is “full”. I suppose the only way to enjoy that $100 gift certificate will be to mix it with leftover Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, pour some gravy over all of it, and suffer through the loss of another local eatery.

  12. Jim said

    No loss…this place was just another faux cultured eatery for the Marty McGillicuddy set that thought they were being hip. They were being swindled….

    Overpriced and overrated.

    Lobster mac and cheese for 30 dollars? lol…

  13. wehagirl said

    Simmer’s demise? bad food and service. It can’t be the location. Look at Bricco…next door and wonderful. Good riddance. Who will go in next? Rumor has it another burger chain

  14. Ibelieveit said

    Matt, didn’t you vote for BB2? Didn’t anyone look at the plans before they said “yes”, twice?!

    A German pillbox that can fit Banum’s and Bailey’s 20 white elephants. They could have created an urban oasis with pedestrian walkways and plazas. Might even think you’re even Europe. Heck even Mexico does a better job at such things. Stores are closing in Bishops Corner – target for more development – and at Blvd and Prospect – more development there too. Don’t we have an urban planning board? Traffic control is out of control, lot’s of red lights run all over town and you guys worry about the next restaurant. Wait until the school scores continue to go down. What’s that going to do for your home prices?

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