With the first bright day of a new spring season working to battle back the winter chill, the Harlan Social on Stamford's Harbor Point gets ready for it's first full warm-weather experience.
"We opened in the beginning of last August and we already have a handful of regulars," said General Manager Beth Wisniewski. "It will be our first spring-into-summer session and we're looking forward to opening everything back up, setting up our outdoor dining areas."
The restaurant, which has about 50 employees, is located in the up-and-coming Harbor Point section of the city, where Building and Land Technology has been developing apartments, condos and commercial real estate.
Named after Executive Chef and partial owner Stephen Lewandowski's son, the Harlan Social features pub food from around the world, presenting new and returning customers with something new to try all the time.
Wisniewski and General Manager Ron Blomgren both described Harlan Social as an "upscale gastropub," with Wisniewski saying the restaurant had a way of "taking traditional pub food and elevating it, but not in a way that is pretentious." Both saw the location as a strength of the restaurant.
"I think every day we're seeing more and more people stopping in that haven't been here before," Wisniewski said. "And the area here is always growing. We've got Dinosaur Bar-b-que and the Fairway Market bringing people down to the area as well."
Blomgren called the area the anti-downtown and said the location was chosen before the restaurant idea, even, because of the large population that would be looking for something that could always be new right under their feet.
"This is a huge growth area in Stamford, a reemergence of Stamford," Blomgren said. "[The owners] found the right property first, then the right restaurant concept was built around this location. They grabbed this location, on the bottom floor of a building housing thousands of people. That's potentially a lot of customers looking for a variety of small plate options and different ways to eat."