New banquet hall coming to Milford’s Walnut Beach

MILFORD — The site at 72 Broadway — once home to the iconic Costa Azzurra restaurant and banquet facility — will soon be brought back to life.

Tyde at Walnut Beach, a new event venue, is scheduled to open in January, according to Rosa Ponte, whose family, the Landinos, purchased the site. Approval for the event venue’s development was granted by the Milford Planning and Zoning Board last August.

“We are looking forward to being part of the community in Milford,” said Ponte. “Walnut Beach is a beautiful area.

“However, we know that COVID and supply chain issues might affect our target date,” she added, “which is why we are only booking events after May of 2023, but if we open before May, we will start as a restaurant only then open it up to events.”

Ponte said her parents, Pietro and Antonietta Landino, had become friends with Costa Azzurra owner Sebastiano “Benny” Faustini. Ponte said in August 2019 — a year after their friendship began — Faustini died.

“(Faustini’s) wife ended up talking to my mom about how the place was available if we wanted to buy it,” Ponte said. “We purchased the restaurant before it went on the market.”

Costa Azzurra closed in December 2019, three months after Faustini’s death. The Landinos purchased the direct waterfront property for $3.65 million in May 2021. The family operates Cascade Fine Catering, a wedding facility and banquet hall in Hamden.

Ponte said the family business comes from a restaurant background, but they are not new to the event venue industry.

“We opened up Cascade, which is a banquet hall in Hamden, where we do multiple events, just like what we are planning to do here,” she said.

In 2004, Cascade, a banquet hall and catering company, was started by the Landino’s.

“We have experience in both the restaurant and event venue industry, but our passion is definitely doing private events,” said Ponte.

The existing single-story 12,204-square-foot building will be razed and replaced with a two-story, 36.5-foot-tall building with a nearly identical size of 12,203 square feet. Since the new structure will be two stories, it will have a smaller footprint of 8,209 square feet, as compared to the 11,259-square-foot footprint of the current building. A 2,016-square-foot patio will remain the same size.

“The building is going to be smaller than what the Costa Azzura used to be,” said Ponte. “The old place used to be a restaurant and a banquet hall. We demolished the old structure and are building a brand new banquet hall. It has to be FEMA-approved because it’s close to the ocean. So it’s going to be a state-of-the-art venue. The main banquet hall will be on the first level, but then there is going to be like a restaurant/lounge on the second floor.”

The restaurant portion of Tyde at Walnut Beach will be open when there is no scheduled event.

“We’re planning on doing Sunday brunches,” said Ponte. “Our other ideas include having jazz night on Monday and Tuesdays to feature local artists, and we plan on opening it up for dinner where the public can come and relax.”

The team at Tyde at Walnut Beach has started to receive inquiries about booking events when the venue is open and ready.

“Our inaugural event is actually the wedding of Benny’s daughter,” said Ponte. “Her wedding was the first one we booked because her family wants to have her wedding at the location of her dad's restaurant where they used to work, which is like their second home.”