20+ notable Connecticut restaurants that closed in 2022

Photo of Leeanne Griffin

While Connecticut saw a slew of new restaurant openings in 2022, there were also several prominent closings, as owners retired or continued to struggle with pandemic-related downturn and staffing shortages. 

Here's a roundup of some of the restaurants Connecticut lost in 2022. This list is in loose chronological order.

Kala Bistro
North Haven

Kala Bistro on Whitney Avenue in North Haven Feb. 22, 2022

Kala Bistro on Whitney Avenue in North Haven Feb. 22, 2022

Meghan Friedmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

The restaurant with globally-inspired cuisine, from the team behind New Haven's Olea, closed Feb. 26.

Relocated: Tibetan Kitchen
Middletown

Sha Momo, beef dumplings, photographed at the Tibetan Kitchen on Chapel Street in New Haven on October 12, 2022.
Sha Momo, beef dumplings, photographed at the Tibetan Kitchen on Chapel Street in New Haven on October 12, 2022.
Arnold Gold/Hearst Connecticut Media

Tibetan Kitchen announced its Middletown closing in April, but reopened on Chapel Street in New Haven six months later. Another Tibetan restaurant, Potala, opened in the Middletown space in July.

G-Zen
Branford

G-Zen in Branford, pictured in a 2016 file photo.

G-Zen in Branford, pictured in a 2016 file photo.

Peter Hvizdak / ©2016 Peter Hvizdak

In late April, Ami Beach and Mark Shadle closed their Branford vegan restaurant after 11 years to focus on G-Monkey, their "plant-fueled" vegan fast food restaurant that opened in late June in West Hartford. The East Main Street space is now home to French restaurant Otoulouse, which opened in October.

Taco Loco
Bridgeport

Taco Loco, in Bridgeport, Conn. April 26, 2022.

Taco Loco, in Bridgeport, Conn. April 26, 2022.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

The Mexican restaurant closed at the end of April after 40 years in business.

Sound Beach Pizza, Grill & Deli
Old Greenwich

Sound Beach Pizza, Grill and Deli, located at 178 Sound Beach Ave. in Old Greenwich, is locked the afternoon of Wednesday, May 11, 2022. A post on the business’s Facebook page confirms the restaurant is closed.

Sound Beach Pizza, Grill and Deli, located at 178 Sound Beach Ave. in Old Greenwich, is locked the afternoon of Wednesday, May 11, 2022. A post on the business’s Facebook page confirms the restaurant is closed.

Annelise Hanshaw / Hearst Connecticut Media

The restaurant closed May 7, attributing the closing to “long-lasting effects of COVID” — not a lack of passion nor a planned retirement.

Daiko Japanese Restaurant & Jerry-San’s Sushi Bar
West Haven

The former Daiko Japanese Restaurant & Jerry-San's Sushi Bar on Derby Avenue in West Haven.

The former Daiko Japanese Restaurant & Jerry-San's Sushi Bar on Derby Avenue in West Haven.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

The restaurant closed in late May after 23 years of rolling sushi in West Haven.

Veracious Brewing
Monroe

Tess and Mark Szamatulski inside their Veracious Brewing Company brewery in Monroe, Conn. in 2016.

Tess and Mark Szamatulski inside their Veracious Brewing Company brewery in Monroe, Conn. in 2016.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

Mark and Tess Szamatulski closed the Monroe brewery in May as they headed into retirement. 

Sugar Bowl
Darien

Valentine's Day decoractions in the window of The Sugar Bowl in Darien, CT in February 2017

Valentine's Day decoractions in the window of The Sugar Bowl in Darien, CT in February 2017

Erin Kayata / Hearst Connecticut Media

After 46 years in business, owner Bobby Mazza closed Darien's Sugar Bowl on June 13 in order to enjoy his retirement.

Chip’s Restaurants
Southington and Wethersfield

Black bunting drapes the sign at Chip's Family Restaurant in Orange, following the death of owner George Chatzopoulos from brain cancer.

Black bunting drapes the sign at Chip's Family Restaurant in Orange, following the death of owner George Chatzopoulos from brain cancer.

Contributed photo / Contributed photo

The two Chip's locations closed in June as "part of a refocusing," according to the company, and two Chip's restaurants remain open in Fairfield and Orange. The closures came after owner George Chatzopoulos died of cancer in January.

Express Pizza and Greco’s Bella Cucina
Greenwich

Express Pizza and Greco's Bello Cucina in the Chickahominy section of Greenwich, Conn. are photographed on Monday, June 13, 2022. After 34 years in business, Express Pizza and Greco's Bella Cucina are permanently closing, citing the rising cost of food and staffing challenges.

Express Pizza and Greco's Bello Cucina in the Chickahominy section of Greenwich, Conn. are photographed on Monday, June 13, 2022. After 34 years in business, Express Pizza and Greco's Bella Cucina are permanently closing, citing the rising cost of food and staffing challenges.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

After 34 years in business, the popular restaurant and pizza place closed in June, with the owner citing economic pressures.

Sugar Bowl
Darien

An exterior view of Sugar Bowl Luncheonette in Darien, Conn., on Tuesday May 10, 2022. The popular luncheonette will transfer ownership in late June after longtime owner Bobby Mazza retires.
An exterior view of Sugar Bowl Luncheonette in Darien, Conn., on Tuesday May 10, 2022. The popular luncheonette will transfer ownership in late June after longtime owner Bobby Mazza retires.
Christian Abraham/Hearst Connecticut Media

Owner Bobby Mazza closed the Sugar Bowl Luncheonette in June as he headed into retirement.

Yuan Asian Cuisine
Ridgefield

Tao Wang is closing his restaurant, Yuan Asian Cuisine, after nine years in business.

Tao Wang is closing his restaurant, Yuan Asian Cuisine, after nine years in business.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

Tao Wang, who owned and operated the restaurant for nine years, cited staffing issues and a long commute as reasons for the closing.

JK’s Original Texas Hot Wieners
Danbury

JK’s Original Texas Hot Weiner's a family-run restaurant for four generations. Tuesday, July 5, 2022, Danbury, Conn.

JK’s Original Texas Hot Weiner's a family-run restaurant for four generations. Tuesday, July 5, 2022, Danbury, Conn.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

After 98 years in business, JK's owners decided to sell the restaurant to "enjoy life a little." The restaurant is now Grandpa's, under veteran restaurateur Nilton Coehlo, and the new owners said they'll keep the original Texas hot weiners for which JK's was locally famous. 

Wafu
Southport

Wafu Asian Bistro at 3671 Post Road in Southport, Conn.

Wafu Asian Bistro at 3671 Post Road in Southport, Conn.

Autumn Driscoll / Autumn Driscoll

The restaurant, which was the scene of a shooting in June, voluntarily surrendered its liquor license in July and did not reopen. 

Le Petit Cafe
Branford

Le Petit Cafe, Branford Best French Cuisine

Le Petit Cafe, Branford

Best French Cuisine

Peter Hvizdak /Best Neighborhood Butcher

Owner Roy Ip, who closed the fine-dining French restaurant after 25 years in August, said the decision was "not lighthearted," as he faced significant renovation costs to upgrade the kitchen in order to comply with insurance requirements.

Denny's
Multiple locations

The closed Denny's on Sawmill Road in West Haven photographed on Sept. 6, 2022.

The closed Denny's on Sawmill Road in West Haven photographed on Sept. 6, 2022.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

National diner chain Denny's closed four locations in Connecticut (Enfield, West Haven, Wethersfield and Vernon) between Sept. 5 and Oct. 17, according to reports. Remaining Connecticut Denny's locations are in Danbury, Hartford, New London and Southington. 

Danny's Drive-In
Stratford

Danny's Drive-In in Stratford in a 2016 file photo.

Danny's Drive-In in Stratford in a 2016 file photo.

Autumn Driscoll / ST

The Stratford drive-in, a Connecticut institution for 87 years, is closed and currently up for sale.

PizzaCo
Stratford

An exterior view of PizzaCo, a pizza restaurant along Stratford Avenue in Stratford, which closed in October 2022. The space will become a food hall by Two Roads Brewing in early January 2023. 

An exterior view of PizzaCo, a pizza restaurant along Stratford Avenue in Stratford, which closed in October 2022. The space will become a food hall by Two Roads Brewing in early January 2023. 

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

The gas station-themed pizzeria closed suddenly in October, but Two Roads Brewing is planning to open a 70-seat food hall in the space early next year with multiple "craft casual" concepts.

Nardelli's
Middletown

Nardelli's Grinder Shoppe, at 396 Washington St. in Middletown, closed up shop Oct. 29 after more than 11 years in business.

Nardelli's Grinder Shoppe, at 396 Washington St. in Middletown, closed up shop Oct. 29 after more than 11 years in business.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

Nardelli's Middletown location closed Oct. 29 after 11 years in business. The Washington Street space will become a seafood market.

Sinapi's Pizza & Restaurant
Danbury

Pietro Sinapi's son, Lou, worked at Sinapi's Pizza & Restaurant under his father. 

Pietro Sinapi's son, Lou, worked at Sinapi's Pizza & Restaurant under his father. 

Contributed photo/Cathy Tripaldi

Luigi’s Famiglia Cucina, a family-owned Italian restaurant, acquired Sinapi’s Pizza and Restaurant in Danbury in early November and will rebrand it as Luigi's II over the next six months. Sinapi’s operated next to the Danbury Fair mall beginning in 1991, serving Italian dishes like pizza, pasta and seafood.

 

Blue State Coffee
Hartford and New Haven

Blue State Coffee at the 84 Wall St. location in New Haven.

Blue State Coffee at the 84 Wall St. location in New Haven.

Google Maps

Blue State Coffee, which had multiple locations in New Haven, announced that all of its cafes had closed as of Nov. 17. 

Ninety Nine Restaurants
Cromwell, Groton and Stratford

A file photo of the Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub in Cromwell, which closed Nov. 28.

A file photo of the Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub in Cromwell, which closed Nov. 28.

Submitted photo

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, a Massachusetts-based chain of family-friendly eateries, abruptly closed three locations in Cromwell, Groton and Stratford on Nov. 28, effective immediately.

Bertucci's
Avon, Darien, Newington

The exterior of the permanently closed Bertucci's on Boston Post Road in Darien.

The exterior of the permanently closed Bertucci's on Boston Post Road in Darien.

Mollie Hersh

Bertucci's, a Massachusetts-based Italian restaurant chain, closed Connecticut restaurants in Avon, Darien and Newington between September and December. The Avon and Newington closings came as the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 5.

Just one Bertucci's remains in the state, in Glastonbury.

Taco Daddy & Cugine's Italian
Stamford

Some of the colorful choices at Taco Daddy in Stamford.
Some of the colorful choices at Taco Daddy in Stamford.
Winter Caplanson

John and Morgan Nealon's Taco Daddy, a whimsical taco spot, and its sibling Cugine's, which featured upscale Italian fare and drinks, both closed in early December. 

Bernard's
Ridgefield

Bernard and Sarah Bouissou, owners of Bernard’s Restaurant and Sarah’s Wine Bar in Ridgefield, Conn, have decided to sell the restaurant after 21 years. Thursday, December 2, 2021.
Bernard and Sarah Bouissou, owners of Bernard’s Restaurant and Sarah’s Wine Bar in Ridgefield, Conn, have decided to sell the restaurant after 21 years. Thursday, December 2, 2021.
H John Voorhees III/Hearst Connecticut Media

In early November, Bernard and Sarah Bouissou announced they had sold their upscale French eatery to Norwalk-based restaurateurs Dave Studwell and Rob Moss of Washington Prime and B.J. Lawless of BJ Ryan’s Restaurant Group. The Bouissous will keep Bernard's open through Dec. 31, hosting one last New Year's Eve celebration.

Testo's
Bridgeport

Testo’s, in Bridgeport, Conn. Jan. 7, 2022.
Testo’s, in Bridgeport, Conn. Jan. 7, 2022.
Ned Gerard/Hearst Connecticut Media

Mario Testa's restaurant and banquet facility has been sold and will close at the end of the year, after one last New Year's Eve celebration.

Manna Toast
Westport

CauliflowerHash and Meatless meatballs on Sweet Potato at Manna Toast, an artisan toast cafe Friday, October 23, 2020, in Westport, Conn. The eatery opened during the pandemic with great success.
CauliflowerHash and Meatless meatballs on Sweet Potato at Manna Toast, an artisan toast cafe Friday, October 23, 2020, in Westport, Conn. The eatery opened during the pandemic with great success.
Erik Trautmann/Hearst Connecticut Media

Manna Toast, a Westport cafe specializing in plant-based fare, announced Dec. 12 that it would close by the end of the year

Prime 16
Orange

The bar area of the remodeled Orange restaurant, Prime 16, photographed on May 6, 2021.
The bar area of the remodeled Orange restaurant, Prime 16, photographed on May 6, 2021.
Arnold Gold/Hearst Connecticut Media

Prime 16 will close its Orange location at the end of the year, after an extensive overhaul in 2021. Locations in New Haven and Pelham, N.Y. will remain open.