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January 8, 2020

Wethersfield OKs $3M Artisanal Burger, countertop showroom developments

Photo | Artisanal Burger Co. Artisanal Burger Co. launched in Manchester in 2014. The business now has its sights on opening a second location in Wethersfield.

Planning officials in Wethersfield pushed ahead construction plans for a $3-million Artisanal Burger Co. restaurant and a kitchen countertop showroom on Tuesday.

The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to issue special permits for the owners of Artisanal Burger and Stone House By Temponi to construct new venues in town. The approval means the family-owned Stone House business will be relocating operations from Meriden to Wethersfield.

The special permit for Artisanal Burger co-owners Joseph Sullo and Dorjan Puka is contingent on a number of conditions to address concerns voiced by neighbors at a public hearing last night. That includes requiring them to create certain landscape buffers to curb potential noise impacts from its outdoor patio, among other stipulations, said Peter Gillespie, the town’s director of planning and economic development.

According to plans, the co-owners, which launched their first Artisanal Burger restaurant six years ago in Manchester, will build a $3-million restaurant on Maple Street with 250 seats. The 6,000-square-foot eatery will feature outdoor patio seating, at least 120 parking spaces and employ 75 part- and full-time workers.

Artisanal Burger’s menu in Wethersfield is expected to mirror its sister venue in Manchester with handcrafted burgers and smoked chicken wings. Sullo has said he hopes to open the venue by Thanksgiving.

The restaurant will be housed on the same property where Sullo, owner-manager of Classic Restaurant Supply in Hartford and its e-commerce affiliate,, operates his expanded online-fulfillment operation at 24 Maple St. The company also has a showroom-distribution facility at 312 Murphy Road in Hartford.

Artisanal Burger is part of the DORO Restaurant Group that also includes Treva, A’vert Brasserie and Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen in West Hartford. 

Rendering | Contributed
A rendering of Artisanal Burger Co.'s incoming Wethersfield location.

The town on Tuesday also blessed plans from Stone House to erect a 5,000-square-foot showroom and outdoor display on vacant land at 1912 Berlin Turnpike.

Nathalia Pedra, office manager and owner of Stone House, on Wednesday said she will relocate the business from North Broad Street in Meriden to the Berlin Turnpike when construction is completed in the next year or two. The company plans to break ground on the development this spring.

The move has been a long-time coming for Stone House, which acquired the vacant Wethersfield property for $250,000 in March 2017, land records show.

After the move, Stone House will continue to manufacture and sell an assortment of kitchen countertops, vanity tops, fireplaces, bathtubs and outdoor counters. It will also begin to focus more on selling tile, wall backsplashes and flooring materials.

The company has eight full-time employees that will continue to work at the Wethersfield location, said Pedra, who eventually plans to hire additional staffers there.

Stone House made its debut in 2004 on Hartford’s Rose Street. Early growth encouraged the business to move to a larger space in Farmington for a brief stint before it finally landed in Meriden in 2013, Pedra said.

The company, she says, has again outgrown its leased space in Meriden and hopes a new, larger showroom in Wethersfield will end up being its final landing spot.

“Every time we’ve moved it’s because we are growing," Pedra said. "Hopefully this is our final move.”

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