By MIKE CHAIKEN
Garnish, the popular eatery that came to signify the beginning of a revival of the fortunes of the village of Forestville… and the city of Bristol at large, is no more.
As of Monday, the restaurant operated by J.R. and Leanne Rusgrove, who also own the popular Parkside Café on Federal Hill, closed its doors for good.
The Rusgroves’ Parkside Café is unaffected by the closing.
The owners of Garnish, w hich is located on Central Street in Forestville, announced their decision on their Facebook fan page to address the Bristol “rumor mill,” they said. The announcement was immediately followed by a flurry of comments of good will and dismay from their customers.
Closing the restaurant, according to the letter, was a reaction to three factors: the economy; the cost of doing business; and the toll operating two restaurants—plus holding day jobs—had on their personal lives.
In regard to the economy, the Rusgroves noted the difficulty the families of Bristol had in making ends meet these. This, in turn, limited dining ventures to the weekends for customers. The couple said the restaurant could not survive just on the dollars brought in on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
In regard to costs, the Rusgroves noted too many dollars were being siphoned off by communities better known for their dining options, such as nearby West Hartford and Farmington.
As for the family life, the couple said between they were putting in 110 hours of work a week.
The couple said The Parkside Café will continue to open its doors. “(O)ur business there couldn’t be any better then it is right now…we couldn’t be any happier,” said the Rusgroves.
“The Parkside Café is enough of the restaurant life for us to be happy and fulfilled as entrepreneurs for now.”