Martino’s, Barley Vine want to highlight city’s cuisine landscape

The owners of Martino’s Italian Market located at 948 Terryville Rd., Bristol, and Barley Vine located at 182 Main St., Bristol, believe the culinary scene in Bristol is in need of some exposure and they are teaming up to plan a coming out party of sorts.

In a press release, Martino’s and Barley Vine said they are looking to work with restaurateurs in Bristol to cultivate an annual food festival, with the goal of developing Bristol into a culinary destination in Connectuct. The release said the idea is to showcase restaurants in Bristol, and to expose the community and the surrounding communities to the various culinary offerings in Bristol.

“Guests say they are stunned to find our establishment when they first visit Martino’s which is a real a surprise to us since Martino’s has been in Bristol since 1968,” said Brenda Antuna, current owner of Martino’s Italian Market in the press release. Brenda continued, in the release, “We relocated several years ago from the West End, but the market still provides homemade, fresh Italian food and products, and we are opened for dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. We also host intimate Italian cooking classes which add a fun experience.”

Terry Lugo, co-owner of Barley Vine with her husband Victor said in the press release, “We often hear similar comments from our guests although it makes sense since Barley Vine has only been open for a little over one year and we’re located in the developing area of downtown Main Street.” Terry added in the release added, “We also quite often hear guests who say they wish there were more places to eat in Bristol. We’ll mention places we enjoy such as Martino’s Italian Market, Park Side Café, Latino’s Restaurant, Marilyn’s Pub, the soon to be redone Mason Jar 457, Monterrey, Café Buono, and the Milestone to name just a few of the restaurants here in Bristol. The guests often state they weren’t aware of these establishments, or that they have never tried these places.”

These similar experiences have led these business owners to discuss the idea of having an annual food festival that highlights Bristol’s culinary might, the release said. Plenty of opportunities exist to help formulate a plan to make this a huge success, similar to the Popup Piazza and RockwellPark festivals, according to the release. 

“We are still in the early planning stages and want to work with other restaurateurs to develop this festival,” said Brenda and Terry, as quoted in the press release.

A meeting is going to be held on Monday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. at Barley Vine, 182 Main St., Bristol, to further plan the event.

If you are a restaurateur in Bristol or an interested community oriented individual willing to volunteer your time and talent for this event, please contact Brenda Antuna at (860) 583-3585 or Terry Lugo at (860) 589-0239.

Terry states, “We believe this is a great opportunity to showcase and promote Bristol’s culinary offerings while continuing to develop Bristol as a culinary destination in Connecticut.”