Published March 07. 2013 10:00AM Updated March 07. 2013 10:22AM
Norwich – The Harp & Dragon Irish pub hopes to open its expanded restaurant and bar in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities March 15, and word about the new second-story banquet hall, tasting bar and expanded restaurant is spreading.
The restaurant, owned by the Capano family, held a different sort of groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, fitting for the 19th century brick urban building at 130 Main St.
Restaurant staff, city leaders and officials from the Norwich Community Development Corp. gathered Wednesday for a golden sledgehammer wall-bashing ceremony inside the restaurant.
Scott Capano said the $210,000 project actually is about 50 percent completed. Remaining work is “behind the scenes” in the restaurant work space areas. He said he already has about 10 events booked for the new 60-to-70-seat banquet hall.
CAP Realty, the Capano family company that owns the building, will receive $9,500 in a matching building code upgrade grant to renovate the second floor for the banquet hall and an adjacent wine and beer tasting lounge. Harp & Dragon, which just signed a new 15-year lease, will receive lease rebates over 10 years that will start with $34,000 in the first year and decrease in following years.
NCDC Senior Economic Development Associate Jason Vincent said the wall-bashing ceremony is the only way to showcase renovations not very visible from the street.
“Urban renewal happens indoors, so most people don’t see it happening,” Vincent said.