MERIDEN — Christopher Cruz wanted to get down to Huxley’s Bookmark Cafe early Tuesday to see and eat at the new restaurant.
His daughter Amyalin Cruz, who’s almost three, didn’t make that easy so the family came at lunchtime.
They weren’t alone. A steady stream of customers filled the booths and stools, ready to be waited on by familiar faces in a new home.
”We wanted to see the new location,” Christopher Cruz said. “It’s nice, it’s spacious and it’s gorgeous.”
Aneta Zawadzki dined on an omelet, while Amyalin feasted on chicken tenderloins and French fries.
”I like it alot,” Zawadzki said. “It’s more spacious and it’s gorgeous.”
Huxley’s closed its former location across the street last week to prepare to reopen in its new home at 1376 E. Main St.
The doors opened Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. to serve regular customers. However as word got out that Huxley’s had reopened, business picked up. Owner Dimitrios Klonaras expected to stay busy until it closed at 2:30 p.m.
”It was like back at the old place,” Klonaras said about opening. “We did what we know best.”
Klonaras had a full staff of between 10 to 12 wait and cook staff on duty. The kitchen was running smoothly, but some issues with the cash register software needed to be worked out later in the day.
“We are very happy,” Klonaras said.
The interior is modern with some rustic accents such as barn wood wainscoting and floors, and iron lighting fixtures. A decorative gaslit feature glowed from a stone fireplace, and a gleaming onyx piano graced the center of the dining room.
A dozen red roses in a vase atop the piano was an elegant reminder the reopening was special.
‘One the books came I knew’
Klonaras’ sister Angela Klonaras was enjoying opening day and greeting old and new customers.
“I think it’s great,” Angela Klonaras said. “I’m loving it. They love it as well. They’re shocked. It’s a big change. They did a great job.”
Angela Klonaras wasn’t too certain about the new look until the books that for years gave the eatery its distinctive look and feel arrived to decorate the walls.
“Once the books came in I knew,” Angela said.