Monthly Archives: April 2010

book ‘em


Marks & Co. (circa 1960), the London bookstore made famous by the wonderful book and movie, 84 Charing Cross Road. It is now a wine bar.

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s grocery store survey we have another one from a different group of UConn MBA students. This time its all about whether Hartford needs a bookstore/coffee shop downtown. We remember going to a Hartford Magazine issue launch party in the unfinished two-story space on the corner of Trumbull & Asylum (in the Hartford 21 Building) and thinking it would be perfect for a Borders or Barnes & Noble. Other party-goers agreed and we all speculated as to which it would be. The space is still empty.

Click here to take the survey. Maybe with enough input, someone will decide that Downtown Hartford is the perfect spot for a bookstore-cafe.

We salivate at the thought.


to market, to market


Those of us who live downtown are often asked (incredulously) “Where on earth do you grocery shop?” as if driving to the grocery store is forbidden once you trade in a suburban abode for a city one. In fact, my drive to Stop & Shop is now shorter (1 mile) than it ever was when I lived in the ‘burbs (4 miles).  Plus there are delivery services like PeaPod, and once ShopRite takes over the Shaw’s in the West End they will likely offer their Shop From Home service. But living in the shadow of bigger cities like NYC and Boston means non-city dwellers think even a small city like Hartford should offer every and all the amenities of a larger metropolis.

That’s not to say we wouldn’t welcome a full-service grocery store right downtown. But I don’t see Dean & Deluca or D’Agostino’s scoping out spaces on Main Street anytime soon. However, some UConn MBA students are working with a local entrepreneur to build a business plan for a Downtown food source. They are looking for input from people who live, work or attend classes or events Downtown. The link below leads to the survey on downtown Hartford food sources and potential consumer preferences. If you are so inclined, it should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Your input will help shape their entrepreneur’s business plan, and hopefully, a better Downtown Hartford.