Menu of downtown New London restaurants growing

New London - It's said that when one door closes, another one opens. In the City of New London, the same can be said for restaurants.

Candance Devendittis is having a grand re-opening of Dev's on Bank Street Monday after moving her tapas eatery into an old Chinese restaurant at 357 Bank St., just next door to her old location at 345 Bank.

Steve "Stash" Schiavone, who owns the building at 345 Bank where Dev's was located for five years, said he's using the space for private parties this summer but plans to re-open with a new restaurant next fall.

And Scott Capano recently purchased a more than 200-year-old building at 158 State St. that has been home to a variety of restaurants over the years. He plans to open a smokehouse and restaurant.

"Everything is tentative,'' said Capano, who also is spending about $1.5 million to renovate a 100-year-old building at 130 Bank St., where he will open a version of his Norwich Harp & Dragon Irish pub sometime next year.

On State Street, inside the historic three-story wooden building that was home to the Timothy Green Print Shop more than 200 years ago, Capano wants to install multiple smokers and offer smoked cheese, ribs, brisket, chicken and bacon. He said he is planning a retail operation to sell the smoked goods as well as a restaurant. He wants to name it the "State Street Saloon and Smokehouse."

Capano plans to capitalize on the history of the building, which dates back to Colonial times. It was where the first newspaper in Connecticut was published.

He hopes to be open by June, pending the receipt of any required permits or approvals.

Capano also will start construction on the Irish pub on Bank Street this summer with a tentative opening in the summer of 2014.

Devendittis said the decor of her new space is more modern than that of her former location, which for years was known as "Ye Old Tavern" and was a favorite spot for locals.

"It's like a little touch of New York in New London,'' she said of the new space.

Schiavone said he plans to renovate his building and expects to open some kind of eatery in the fall.

"It'll be something different,'' said Schiavone, who also owns the On the Waterfront restaurant on Pequot Avenue.

With news that the Coast Guard Museum may be coming downtown, and that construction may start soon on housing in Fort Trumbull, Devendittis said it's an exciting time for New London.

"We're so excited,'' she said. "We're like little kids running around happy."


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