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September 28, 2021

Hartford's Blind Pig Pizza to close Oct. 3

Twitter | Blind Pig Pizza Co.

Blind Pig Pizza Co., a Hartford eatery that's part of the Bear's Smokehouse BBQ  restaurant group, will close its doors next week.

The Bear's Restaurant Group, which owns the pizza eatery on Arch Street in downtown Hartford, announced Monday it would close Blind Pig on Oct. 3, and employees there will have the opportunity to work at one of the four Bear's Smokehouse locations in Hartford, New Haven, South Windsor and Windsor.

In a statement, co-owner Cheryl Antoncic cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor to the closure. The restaurant’s lease at 89 Arch St., was also coming up for renewal. 

"This has been a difficult decision for our team, especially given the long history of the location to our company, as it was the original Bear's Smokehouse BBQ in Hartford," Antoncic said. "We look forward to a strong future as a company as we continue to navigate the effect of COVID."

Blind Pig opened in 2017, the same year Bear's Smokehouse co-owner Jaimie McDonald partnered with chef and Millwrights owner Tyler Anderson to open the ill-fated Cook and the Bear in West Hartford, which closed in 2019.

More than 600 restaurants have closed since the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns in March of 2020, and capacity restrictions for more than a year after that, according to the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

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