TORRINGTON — Diners at the new Slider’s Grill & Bar will likely see familiar faces as about a dozen employees live locally, either in the city or nearby.
The restaurant at 84 Main St. will hold a soft opening from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The location next to the Warner Theatre is the first historic building the regional franchise has occupied in the nearly three decades it’s been in business.
The architecture and upstairs mezzanine are details that the restaurant owners appreciate. The small room, which can be rented for parties, looks over the industrial design of open pipework along the ceiling.
“The place has amazing bones. The footprint is perfect,” franchise marketing director Lisa Marcantonio said in an earlier interview. Her husband, Fred Marcantonio, is president and CEO of the company.
“We kept it vintage and modernized it,” as well, said Kenya D’Agustino, |marketing coordinator for Skyeline Studio, the restaurant’s public relations firm.
Pillars and several walls are decorated with stained wood paneling in a number of colors that harken back to country barns and sheds.
Inside the business, the large exposed brick wall to the left of the entrance of the former Mertz building is original to the circa 1803 structure, as are a number of pillars in the 5,900-square-foot restaurant. The Mertz building was “originally home to one of the oldest continually operating department stores in the country,” according to connecticuthistory.org.
Lynn Gelormino, executive director of the Warner, which owns the building, said in a previous interview that it had signed a multi-year lease with Sliders.
“As many businesses as open in places is great,” she said previously. “Downtown is very walkable.”
The company hired 55 employees, including a 25-person kitchen staff.
“I live just around the corner,” said Nicholas Patrick, a line cook.
He said joined the restaurant staff because “it has better management, better food and a better location” than his previous job.
Kitchen Manager Roland Grenier of Torrington said he trained at the other Slider’s locations to learn the company’s operations.
“It’s nice. It’s a private owner, but it’s run like a corporate restaurant,” Grenier said.
Grenier has worked at several other restaurants in the city, he said.
A feature unique to the Torrington franchise is a Brewpen.
“It will always have four special beers on tap,” D’Agustino said. The room, to the left of the main bar, is decorated with lighted signs that pay homage to the marquee at the Warner Theatre.
“Starters’ Starting Lineup” is the motto for the franchise, which offers nine regional beers each day at its restaurants.
With 32 large-screen TVs mounted throughout the restaurant, sports fans won’t have look far to catch their favorite game.
“The core mission is to offer sports,” said Jim DeMicco, co-founder of Skyeline Studio.