Nutmeg Nuggets: Steve Temkin receives ‘Key to Nutmeg’ award

Steve Temkin stands in front of a few of the buildings that the Torrington Downtown Partners own. He was recently given the “Key to Nutmeg” award for his contributions to Nutmeg Ballet, and the city of Torrington in general.

TORRINGTON — The Nutmeg Ballet has just kicked off its year-long 50th anniversary celebration with a highly successful, seven-performance run of its annual “Nutcracker” production — a spectacular event made possible in part by generous donors like Torrington Downtown Partners, headed by Steve Temkin.

Temkin was present at a Dec. 6 preview of that newly imagined Christmas classic when Nutmeg founder Sharon Dante presented him with the very first Key to the Nutmeg Award, thanking him and his organization for many years of support.

“We can drive through downtown Torrington and be very proud of the outline of our city that Steven has made a reality,” Dante said at the event. She noted the image of a bowtie on the east side of the building at 5-7 Water Street, where Five Points Gallery is. That bowtie is Temkin’s homage to his late uncle, Isadore (“Izzy”) Temkin, a well-known dentist and community devotee who practiced on Water Street. Inspired by that image, Dante chose a bowtie theme as part of the Key to the Nutmeg award.

“That was so nice,” Temkin said later in an interview. “That was such a great honor for me to get that. Sharon called my office and said, ‘Can you stop by tonight [Dec. 6] to watch a preview of “The Nutcracker”?’ I had been invited to it anyway, so I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll come by.’ And wow! That was a very, very special moment. So meaningful.”

Coincidentally, Temkin had just mailed a generous donation to Nutmeg, from a charitable fund his family runs. The donation was to help support the new “Nutcracker” set that was about to be unveiled. Dante knew nothing of that check when she awarded him the Key to the Nutmeg for his generosity to our community. And, conversely, Temkin had no idea he was about to be given an award.

“The Nutmeg is such a great Torrington institution, and this is such a special year,” Temkin said. “You know, you’ve got the new ‘Nutcracker’ set, and [the production] was so professionally done. The Nutmeg has just done such an unbelievable job.”

He said that his sister, Elizabeth, was one of the first dancers Dante trained 50 years ago after opening a studio on Migeon Avenue. The Nutmeg later moved its studios to Water Street and finally to its current 58 Main Street location.

“They’re bringing people in from all over the country,” Temkin said. “And they’re very quiet about it. You don’t realize it. They’re just there, an internationally acclaimed school right here in downtown Torrington. I mean wow, look at what’s going on here. It creates so much energy in the city.”

Torrington Downtown Partners was formed in 2010 by David Bender, Steven Roth and Temkin, with the purchase of seven downtown buildings representing 27 retail storefronts and more than 70 office and apartment units. Today the partners own nine buildings and provide more than 100,000-square-feet of space.

“In the past year a number of new businesses have opened in our spaces including the Hummingbird Café on the second floor at 79 Main Street, Mambo Tropical at 75 Main Street, and the Social House at 29 Main Street,” Temkin said in a text.

Also new in 2019: Manny’s Shoe Repair at 55 Main Street, Peter Cusack Art Studio and Gallery at 19 Water Street and Water Street Potters at 39 Water Street.

New tenants for Torrington Downtown Partners in January 2020: Glenholme School will lease space at 81 Main Street, a new barbershop has opened at 12 Water Street, and Nutmeg Ballet’s former dance studio at 21 Water Street is the new site of Red Room Sound Studio, he said.

Dante said, “And as for Nutmeg, we are all so grateful to have our downtown back to life and so successful. The Partners have certainly put the icing on the cake by adding the outline of lights throughout the downtown. Steve Temkin has certainly taken his place among our community leaders and we are all so much better for it.”

She added, “I can’t wait until next Christmas in our little Christmas City USA!”

Connecticut Media Group