Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Celebrate National Burger Month at b Restaurants

National Burger Month at b Restaurants 

Did you know that the Month of May is National Burger Month? 

Well, now you do! 

And there's still time to celebrate at b Restaurants!

b Restaurant Classic Bacon Cheeseburger
Photo Credit: Jim DeMicco (SkyeLine Studio)

b Restaurants are championing the cause with mini burgers, contests and promos throughout the month of May. 

“If there’s one thing that we are obsessed with at b Restaurants, it’s the BURGER. We love it, we crave it, and we do it right. We want to show our fellow burger lovers just how much we appreciate them, so we go all out this month to celebrate,” says Al Gamble, Founder, C.E.O., Locals 8 Restaurant Group. 


Add a Mini for $1

Add a mini burger to the purchase of any appetizer or entree for only one dollar during the month of May. You may substitute a veggie, turkey or chicken patty on your mini. 

Build-a-Better-Burger Contest

In early April, b Restaurants gathered burger recipes submitted by guests. Each b Restaurant location will then compete for “The Best Burger.” 

The final winner will receive a free burger, every week, at any b Restaurant, for the rest of 2019! The Best Burger will also be featured as a special at b Restaurants through the end of May. 

b Restaurant Baja Burger
Photo Credit: Jim DeMicco (SkyeLine Studio)

Visit burgersbeerbourbon.com/burgermonth for more details. And visit your favorite b Restaurant to enjoy one!

About b Restaurant's Beef: 
They take great pride in providing only the highest quality meat, poultry, fish and produce for our menu. They source their 100% Certified Black Angus beef directly from ranchers in the Midwest. These family-owned ranches have been ethically raising cattle and taking care of the land for generations. Their premium USDA beef is the highest quality, with natural marbling and no growth hormones. The fresh, never frozen, chuck is hand-cut by their butchers and ground in-house within hours of hitting your plate. Antibiotic-free, and hormone-free, our chicken and pork are always fresh, fed vegetarian diets and source-verified. 

About Locals 8 
Formally established in 2008 in Hartford, CT, the Locals 8 Restaurant Group is the award-winning holding company of b Restaurants, (formerly known as Plan B Burger Bar), The Half DoorTisane Euro Asian Cafe and most recently, Butchers & Bakers. Winners of best burger, beer, and bourbon across four states and nationally known for excellent job creation, the company was founded on the simple belief that good food and drink bring people together - and the world needs more connection. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Ordinary New Haven - Extraordinary Six Year Anniversary and New Initiatives

Social Media Promotion:  

Happy Six Year Anniversary to Ordinary in New Haven!

New Haven CT is home to some of the greatest little taverns and establishments. Locals refer to the city itself as the GSCIA (Greatest Small City In America). One of my favorite places to enjoy a cocktail in the greatest small city in America is on Chapel Street, right across from the historic city green, at Ordinary New Haven!

Ordinary New Haven Exterior
Ordinary at 990 Chapel Street, New Haven CT

Ordinary, is considered New Haven’s oldest tavern, as it is housed in the space that originally operated as part of the former Hotel Taft in the 1900's. We love our local history and we love that Ordinary is now celebrating its six-year anniversary with a series of new initiatives and designs that kicked off in early May 2019. 

We had a chance to visit last week and experience some of the fun Under the Big Top! And OH what FUN we had!!!

Ordinary New Haven Menu
Ordinary New Haven - Menu

That's right! Part of their new design is to feature a new circus theme to celebrate Connecticut's connection to P.T. Barnum, one of the greatest showman of all time, with a multi-month-long theme that will celebrate P.T. Barnum and his vision of the circus. 

Welcome to Ordinary's Big Top
Photo Courtesy of Ordinary New Haven
Welcome to Ordinary!

Tim Cabral, one of the co-founders of Ordinary noted, “Ordinary has been transformed into the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’ bringing you back to the glory days of the circus under the big top of the late 1800’s. Our bar area is modeled after the traditional entry-way into the big top, featuring hand-drawn original chalk art, reprints of historical posters and photographs, colored round lights surrounding our menu boards and relevant props.  The door into our dining room will be tented, featuring material reminiscent of a classic circus tent, with the room itself featuring wall projections, additional artwork and posters and a few other surprises.” 

Even better is that this is all being done in collaboration with the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport CT!

Chalk Mural at Ordinary New Haven
Chalk Mural at Ordinary New Haven

So why the change?  Tom Sobocinski, another co-founder summed it up nicely: “We heard a lot of great feedback from our patrons after our Miracle pop-up concept this past holiday season. Our regulars enjoyed the change in décor, the appropriately themed cocktail and food menu updates and the good-natured kitsch that went along with it!  As we approached our six-year anniversary, we decided to run with this theme idea on a permanent basis, and a couple of times per year, will be launching a new concept to update the décor, food and drink menus, and of course welcoming back Miracle over the holidays.”

Ordinary's Slush Puppy Cocktail
Photo Courtesy of Ordinary New Haven
The Slush Puppy

And the menu is FUN!  Additions to the classic cocktail and food menu for this special theme include:

  • Slush Puppy (Uncle Val's Restorative Gin, Otto's Vermouth, Pink Peppercorn Syrup, Citrus, Watermelon, Basil, Liberation Angelico Bitters)
  • Now You See Me (Peloton Mezcal, Ancho, Chipotle / Tamarind Syrup, Citrus, Cotton Candy)
  • Tunnel of Love (Hacienda Reposado, Green Chartreuse, Cocchi Americano, Beet Shrub, Liberations Mole Bitters, Lavender Smoke)
  • Caramel Corn
  • Funnel Cakes
  • Alcoholic Cotton Candy
  • Dirty Water Dogs

Ordinary New Haven's Hot Dog
Hot Dogs at Ordinary New Haven

I'm not the only one with a soft spot for my native New Haven and the people in it! The owners are too!  Jason Sobocinski, Ordinary co-founder said, “We are beyond grateful to the city of New Haven and beyond for a fantastic six years here in a city that we all love. It is truly this city and our special patrons that helps continue the legacy and history of this watering hole, helping it continue to live on as a unique, welcoming tavern for another 100+ years!  To give back to this city that has supported Ordinary, we are proud to be paying it forward, working with local charitable organizations to host pop-up fundraisers on Sunday afternoons over the coming months.  We are also planning on donating $1 from the sale of each special P.T. Barnum Charitable Cocktail to The Barnum Museum throughout the run of this pop-up.” 

Photo Courtesy Ordinary New Haven

In addition to this new rotating theme concept and charitable component, the ownership team has also instituted a new service model to improve the overall experience for patrons.

Let me tell you, that is why Ordinary is EXTRAordinary! 

Their service is spectacular no matter the season, day, or time. “Our goal is to always provide our guests with a superior level of service, which can sometimes be a challenge during crowded weekend periods,” said Mike Farber, co-founder, Ordinary.  “To provide an unprecedented level of service in the area, we’ve added a doorman to our team during busy periods, who will greet guests at our front entrance.  Prior to walking in, the doorman touches base with our floor manager to be able to direct every guest to a designated space at the bar, along the standing rail or in the back dining room.  Each party will receive a personal introduction to their point person – a bartender or server, who is designated to take care of them for the entire visit.  This alleviates the frustration of having to push through to order a drink or food at the bar, feeling uncomfortable not having a place to stand or sit, and more importantly, provides a New York City-level of attention for our patrons.  We’ve been test-running this new model for the past few weeks, and after a resounding level of success, will be permanently implementing it during busy periods moving forward.”
Photo Courtesy of Ordinary New Haven
Cotton Candy Cocktails

It's no surprise that Ordinary was highlighted as one of the “Greatest Bars in the World” in 2015 by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

Ordinary New Haven - Under the Big Top
Photo Courtesy of Ordinary New Haven

Join me in congratulating the team at Ordinary for six wonderful years and visit them soon to experience the fun Under the Big Top for yourself! 

Ordinary New Haven Fortune Telling
Photo Courtesy of Ordinary New Haven
Magic Tricks and Fortune Telling

Ordinary New Haven

990 Chapel Street
(203) 907.0238.

About Ordinary:  

Ordinary is New Haven’s oldest tavern, originally serving as the taproom of the former Hotel Taft, which opened in January of 1912.  Located just steps from Yale University, the Shubert Theatre and Yale New Haven Hospital in the heart of historic downtown New Haven at 990 Chapel Street, the space also was known as Richter’s before the current owners took it over in 2012.  After a careful restoration, preserving the space’s historical character and architecture, including the original bar, wood paneling and ornate plaster ceilings, Ordinary opened in April 2013.  The menu offers a mix of both classic and innovative cocktails, wine and beer, as well as a food menu offering small plates meant for sharing including cheese and meat boards, sliders, sandwiches, olives and more.  Open Monday-Saturday from 4pm to close, Ordinary hosts Happy Hour daily from 4-7pm, as well as weekly trivia nights and special events.  The historic front lobby is also home to The New Haven Cocktail Museum, showcasing the history of the cocktail inception in New Haven with rotating liquor exhibits.  For more information, visit www.ordinarynewhaven.com, or the bar’s Twitter (@ordinarybar), Facebook (@ordinarynewhaven) or Instagram (@ordinarynewhaven) pages.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The 2019 Connecticut Open House Date: June 8th

15th ANNUAL 

WHAT: Connecticut Open House Day

WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 2019 (times may vary by location)

WHERE:  Statewide (150+ locations)

DETAILS: Save the date for this ever popular one-day event where destinations across Connecticut offer free or discounted admission or special offers to Connecticut residents. 

Organized by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, Connecticut Open House Day is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse mix of history, art, culture and tourism, and encourage residents to discover or rediscover the wealth of treasures in their own backyard.

The list of participants and special offers is available at: www.ctvisit.com/connecticut-open-house-day-june-8-2019

Follow the official Connecticut Tourism account @CTvisit on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for regular updates.

Participating Towns as of 4-23-19


  • Ashford House Studio, 10 Mansfield Rd.
    Open studio from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering 10% off all matted prints.
    Part of the Art & Garden Tour.
  • Willow Tree Pottery
    Open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring guests Barbara Katz, Gretchen Geromin and Laure Merlo who will be showing their work in the gardens. Suzy Stauback makes pottery for the kitchen, table and garden inspired by pots of ancient China and Korea and country pottery of England and early America. All visitors will receive a homemade amulet.
    Part of the Arts & Garden Tour.


  • Squire’s Tavern
    Free admission from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. In addition, there will be a whimsical program at 1:30 p.m. by George Papp, Sr. on the history of outhouses. Following the program will be an ice cream social.


  • Old Farm School                    
    Free tours from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. of the 1796 schoolhouse which was used until 1922, and the History Center.


  • Barnum Museum 
    Free admission from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Guest can enjoy free guided tours through the gallery and all visitors will receive a red nose and Barnum bookmarks.



  • Creamery Brook Bison          
    Open from noon until 6 p.m. during their Summer Festival featuring food and craft vendors, activities for children including butter making; ice cream, and wagon rides to see the bison.


  • Elton Tavern & Center Schoolhouse
    Open for tours from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Visit with costumed interpreters in the Federal-style tavern or try your hand at school lessons and games in the one-room schoolhouse.


  • Green District Schoolhouse
    Open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Visit the restored 19th century one-room schoolhouse and experience first-hand how different school was in the not-so-distant past.
  • Prudence Crandal Museum
    Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.



  • Jane Collins Studio 
    Open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., offering guests a free herb or flower plant.
    Part of the Arts & Garden Tour.


  • Cheshire Historical Society
    Open from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The Cheshire Historical Society has been researching the history of the Hitchcock family and with the information they have found, staff will tell the stories about the family through skits. Guests are invited to dress in period costumes and read from the prepared scripts.


  • Chakana Sky Alpacas            
    Open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering guests 10% off total farm store purchases.


  • Adam Stanton House            
    Free admission from noon until 4 p.m., with guided tours throughout the 18th century house and general store.
  • Captain Elisha White House              
    Free house tours from noon until 4 p.m. of the oldest brick building on the Boston Post Road, also known as “Old Brick.” Enjoy the perennial gardens containing heirloom plants, view a diorama of Main Street, Clinton as it looked in 1915, and visit the Buell Tool Museum, a treasure trove of antique tools.


  • Colchester Historical Society
    Free admission from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., offering tours of the history museum in addition to three other historic sites including Hayward Fire Museum, School of Colored Children, and the Nathaniel Foote House.


  • Canton Historical Museum                
    Free admission from noon until 4 p.m., with guided or self-guided tours.


  • Danbury Museum & Historical Society                     
    Free admission from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., which includes tours and a special exhibition.
  • Gallery at Still River Editions
    Open from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., featuring the exhibition of photographs by Robert Jacobsen and photoencaustics by Marcy Juran. Enjoy art, conversation and light refreshments.


  • Osborne Homestead Museum 
  • Museum open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a special architecture tour of the homestead, exploring its transformation from a modest 1800s farmhouse into an elegant 20th century Colonial Revival home.

East Granby  

East Haddam 

East Hartford            

  • Futtner’s Family Farm LLC
    Free prize drawing every half hour from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Prizes valued at $15 to $20 each, include flats of plants and vegetables, potted herbs, hanging baskets, and more. Must be present for drawing and limited one prize per customer.
  • Huguenot House Museum     
    Open from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., take the opportunity to visit this site which is rarely open to the public and offering a complimentary brochure on historic sites. Merchandise available at half price.

East Haven     

  • Shore Line Trolley Museum   
    Offering half off trolley ride admissions and also museum store items from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

East Windsor 

  • Connecticut Trolley Museum
    From 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., purchase one admission and receive the second admission free (higher price prevails) and one free admission per party for Connecticut residents only.



  • Connecticut River Museum   
    Everyone is a “kid” on June 8. Open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., offering morning programs, tours, crafts and stories in the museum and aboard the ship “Onrust.” Programs are free with admission.


  • Fairfield University Art Museum    
    Open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., offering guests a free notecard.
  • Walsh Gallery at the Regina Quick Center for the Arts
    Open from noon until 4 p.m. All visitors receive a complimentary museum notecard.


  • Stanley-Whitman House        
    Open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Free admission from 8 a.m.-noon; half price admission from noon-4 p.m.; along with a 20% off family memberships. Farmington Farm Truck on-site from noon-3 p.m.


  • Ashbel Woodward House Museum
    Free admission from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. A lecture from a Franklin notable at 2 p.m., followed by a tour to a nearby cemetery (weather permitting).
  • Blue Slope Country Museum
    Reduced admission from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. of $1. Have fun with interactive activities including solving historical farming questions.

MGM Springfield - May 2019 Highlights

MGM Springfield Kicks Off May with 
“Food Truck Fridays” and 
“Derby de Mayo Weekend” on Armory Square

Get ready for May fun at MGM Springfield where they are ready to  kick off a weekend of fun and fabulous festivities beginning on Friday, May 3 with the launch of “Food Truck Fridays” and “Derby de Mayo Weekend” on Armory Square.

“Derby de Mayo Weekend” kicks off at 11 a.m. with a performance by local cover band Feel Good Drift, lawn games and bites from “Food Truck Fridays” inaugural event. 

Guests can also enjoy TAP Sports Bar’s signature outdoor beer garden, which will be open for the first time this season. 

Then, on Saturday, May 4 at 4:30 p.m., Armory Square will transform into an outdoor viewing party for the highly anticipated horse race, the Kentucky Derby, as it plays live on the 330-square-foot marquee screen. The event also will feature live music and MGM Springfield’s three food trucks. 

It's not over yet! The party continues Sunday, May 5 starting at 1 p.m. with a Cinco de Mayo fiesta complete with a mariachi band and custom tequila bar.
And the weekend fun continues all summer!

It's still not over! Every week throughout the spring and summer, “Food Truck Fridays” will bring local eats to downtown Springfield from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

The culinary bonanza will include three original concept food trucks from MGM Springfield, serving tacos, gelato and Asian-inspired dishes. A variety of other popular food trucks from across the region, such as Wahlburgers, Hot Oven Cookies and Say Cheese, will be offered on a rotating schedule. 

Opening day of “Food Truck Fridays” on Friday, May 3 will include:
  • Guac This Way by MGM Springfield
  • Asian-Inspired Food Truck by MGM Springfield
  • Italian Gelato by MGM Springfield
  • Wahlburgers of Boston
  • Liberty Rock Tavern of Milford, Conn.
  • Holyoke Hummus of Holyoke, Mass.
  • Say Cheese of Worcester, Conn.
  • Hot Oven Cookies of Springfield, Mass.
  • Kona Ice of Stamford, Conn.
  • Palazzo of Springfield, Mass. 
  • Sweet Chili’s of Springfield, Mass. 

For more information on “Food Truck Fridays” and “Derby de Mayo Weekend” at MGM Springfield, please visit mgmspringfield.com

MGM Springfield

One MGM Way
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 273-5000

About MGM Springfield

MGM Springfield covers three city blocks in the heart of downtown Springfield, Mass. Igniting a cultural and economic renaissance in a historic New England city, the resort, which combines new construction with revived historic buildings, offers more than 125,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-room boutique hotel on Main Street, superior spa services, diverse retail and inspired dining headlined by award-winning Chef Michael Mina’s Cal Mare. MGM Springfield also features the seven-screen Regal luxury cinema complex, bowling lanes, a seasonal skating rink and outdoor marketplace displaying local art, events and talent. MGM Springfield opened on August 24, 2018. For additional information, please visit www.mgmspringfield.com.

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