Family Plans to Open Wine Bar and Bistro in Collinsville

Francesca’s to offer a cozy, European style setting.

Francesca Nadeau thought she had successfully retired from the food business when she happened to notice a for-rent sign in downtown Collinsville.

The wheels began churning and now she, husband Don and son Jonathan are busy converting 105 Main St. (the former Husk: New American Tacos) into a wine bar and bistro with a European flair and dubbed Francesca’s.

The family plans for lunch and dinner seven days a week, offering Italian and other Mediterranean themed food, with a few Asian specials.

“I think we’re going to have a nice little niche with that,” Nadeau said.

The family’s inspiration is Sofia Wine Bar, Café in New York City, a spot with a reputation as a cozy place to relax with friends.

“It’s what we want to re-create — just a really nice spot to hang out and spend an evening,” Nadeau said.

In Collinsville, Francesca’s will offer a little more in the way of food than their friends in New York City. However, the plan is start small, with offerings such as panini, fresh salad and tapas, and gradually build with input from customers.

“Really we’re going to let our crowd dictate a lot of what they want,” Nadeau said.

Jonathan Nadeau and friend Alan Cooke will handle the kitchen duties. Both are graduates of the Advanced Italian Arts program at the Connecticut Culinary Institute and have experience working in Italy and at area restaurants. 

“The level of experience for their cooking is off the charts,” Don Nadeau said.

Francesca’s will also include an eight-seat bar built by Don, a retired Bristol firefighter and builder. Now they are in the process of working on the space as well as the kitchen area located in a separate structure behind the restaurant. 

The family is seeking a full liquor license and plans to offer beer and other drinks in addition to wine. They are awaiting the liquor license and have a few other details to work out, but Francesca Nadeau is hoping for a late summer opening.

The Nadeaus live in Harwinton and for 10 years were part owners of Martino’s, an Italian Market and Deli and Bistro in Bristol.

Don Nadeau said the family is really looking forward to opening, getting to know the town better, catering to the customers and developing relationships with other restaurant owners in the area.

“There’s no ceiling for our capability,” Don Nadeau said.

Wyatt July 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Sounds like a great place and I look forward to going to it. My only concern is that a place inspired by an NYC wine bar might be too nice for Canton. Canton is probably too red-neck for anything too nice or sophisticated - Simsbury or West Hartford may have been better choices.
Chris Carroll July 30, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I wish them good luck, nothing stays for long in that building!
Saul Freedman July 30, 2012 at 08:19 PM
"You didn't build that, somebody else made that happen!" --Komrade Obama
Wyatt July 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM
@Saul. Well, Obama does have a point, especially when you look at the context of the quote. Someone else did put in the road, the electrical wires, and sewage. Someone else did make sure the paint she is using is safe and someone else is making sure the water they will be using is clean. Mostly likely, someone else educated the workers they will be hiring. Someone else made sure the food they will be serving is reasonably safe. Someone else will make sure that the town is reasonably safe so as to be able to operate a business. Someone else made sure the cars her customers will be driving are reasonably safe so that they can get to the restaurant to buy food. If the place catches on fire, someone else will come to the rescue. If there is a medical emergency there, someone else will come to the rescue. If people need to pay for the food, someone else printed the money to allow commerce to function. If people throw things out, someone else makes sure that the waste is disposed of properly. If the owners take tax breaks for their investments, someone else is helping fund the new restaurant.
Corey Lynn Tucker July 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Welcome Francesca's! Collinsville is happy to have you!
Michele Pellegatto July 31, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Why do people have to be so negative??? Too redneck? Nothing lasts?? For goodness sake what's so hard about saying GOOD LUCK!!! I'm looking forward to having a cozy place to relax with a glass of wine and homemade food. Can't wait for Francesca's to open!
Andrew Ziemba July 31, 2012 at 12:53 AM
LoL, it's now considered getting help when you get back a fraction of the money that was brutally stolen from you? I still can't believe anyone can justify the "you didn't build that" quote. Obama would have a point if we did not live in a collective country where everyone must pay taxes. Even if we lived in a country that paid no taxes, his point would be inane, as it would then be voluntary spending. Welcome to capitalism.
Julie Rush July 31, 2012 at 06:31 AM
I agree with Michele, Betty and Corey: good luck and welcome to Francesca's. I'm hoping that our town is a little more inclusive than some are suggesting!
Ali C August 01, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Jeez, getting so tired of politics being shoved into every facebook post, message board, forum, comment section, etc. I wonder how many of you armchair politicians will end up actually voting in November? Anywayyyyyyyy, how exciting for the Nadeaus, and for Collinsville! We look forward to the opening. Good Luck!
Tim August 01, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Besides the fact your comment is bit warped, what makes you think only Canton residents would be this places only patrons?
Tim August 01, 2012 at 06:04 PM
And what's his point? The only point I see in it is that he believes in bigger government.
Tim August 01, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Tim August 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I don't live in Collinsville but consider myself a frequent visitor - using the bike path and eating at Crown & Hammer and LaSalles. I love the character and charm of the area. I am familiar with what these owners can do as I also dined at Martino's in the past. My guess is Francesca's will fit in nicely in this location offering good food, wine and an entertaining atmosphere.
Betty August 01, 2012 at 07:05 PM
The food sounds absolutely incredible, it will keep natives and visitors alike returning to one of the Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America!
Wyatt August 01, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I don't understand what is warped about my comment. A businesses should know about the local area it is moving to. And I never said that only Canton residents would go to the restaurant. You must have confused me with a different comment.
Steven english August 02, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Welcome to Collinsville!!! and pay no attention to Wyatt he is a moron to the fullest extent allowed by human nature. Plus, its not his fault he's rude most likely it was the way he was raised.
Wyatt August 03, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Ironic that the one calling people a "moron" and criticizing one's parents is the one lecturing about being rude. Anyway, I had no intent to be rude, and I don't think I was. I simply commented on how a business would fit in the town and suggested that other locations might be more suitable for the type of establishment being planned.
Heather Munro Prescott August 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I live in Collinsville and find the redneck comment completely off-base. Good luck to the owners -- can't wait for your business to open.
Tim August 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
OK, maybe you weren't rude. Ignorant is probably a better word to use. Just to refresh, here's what you said: "My only concern is that a place inspired by an NYC wine bar might be too nice for Canton. Canton is probably too red-neck for anything too nice or sophisticated - Simsbury or West Hartford may have been better choices". Yes, ignorant is probably more appropriate.
doug fay September 01, 2012 at 12:37 AM
well I live in Collinsviille and yes I certainly wish them well....but I ask them to not to go to NY ....I'm a working class and I have a hard time affording a breakfast at Lasalles or a Beer at the Crown....and I belive in spending local.....but it needs to be affordable...Jordan had the right idea with Husk
Andrew Ziemba September 01, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Check out the village cafe for breakfast. Low price, high quality. The Hub for dinner and a beer... half the price, 3x the quality of the crown and hammer. Boneless adobo chicken.
Betty September 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Sounds like their concept is for "a cozy place to relax with friends" which could be anywhere USA even though Sofia Wine Bar, Café was the original inspiration. “Really we’re going to let our crowd dictate a lot of what they want,”. Sounds like they want to work with their customers to make everyone happy and succeed in business by really trying.
Ellen Knowlton September 06, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Welcome to Collinsville Francesca's! I am looking forward to your opening and I know you will do very well here!
Ed October 06, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Red neck? Wow. Aside from being crass, rude and snobbish, you also clearly know nothing about Collinsville.
Betty October 07, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Michele, This is one of my all time favorite comments! It is great to have people succeed in their dreams and wonderful to be supportive and happy for them.
Wyatt October 09, 2012 at 08:59 PM
@Ed. I've spent time in and around Collinsville. Here is what I based my comment on: 1. I recently took a bike road up to the Nepaug Reservoir and this is what I saw - lawns not mowed (some had grass 3 feet tall), junk littering people's yards, broken down and rusted cars between properties, homes in disrepair, spray painted rocks and signs, and overgrown yards that look like they haven't been kept up in a decade. I saw similar things all around Collinsville, including broken down signs, garbage, broken fences, rusted out junk, and more. People seem to take no pride in their property or their homes - very, very different feel from Avon or Simsbury where people keep up their properties much better.
Ed October 09, 2012 at 10:15 PM
You picked the one, small section of Collinsville that contains a large percentage of low-end rental housing, and in particular two specific run down properties. Every town has them, even your beloved Avon and Simsbury. I can take you on a bike tour of those towns and show you the exact same things. Or, if you prefer, I can take you on a more extensive tour of Canton where you'll see quite the opposite. The vast majority of Canton looks nothing like what you describe. You might want to take a look at census data if you have doubts. Labeling an entire town "red neck" and unworthy of NYC sophistication based on a trivially small sample of the town's appearance is simply ridiculous. It's also, as I said, crass, rude and snobbish.
Tim October 10, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Wyatt, are you really that vain? I mean your short bike ride was the basis of your Collinsville opinion? Did you ever think for a second to consider another potential reason for the blighted properties? Mortgage payments. Just in case you haven't heard, the good ole US of A has a mortgage crisis on it's hand. Over 6 million homeowners are 30 days or more behind on their payment or in foreclosure. That said, when's the last time you were in the Old Farms Crossing section of Avon? Finally, have you even stepped foot in Francesca's Wine Bar?
Ed October 11, 2012 at 12:53 AM
My wife and I had dinner with a friend at Francesca's this last weekend. Excellent food, excellent service, nice atmosphere, reasonable prices. What's not to like? I'm totally psyched to have an Italian/Mediterranean bistro in Collinsville. Highly recommend. We'll be back.
Pam October 18, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Just ate at LaSalle's and noticed Francesca's as I left! Look great; and from most of the comments here, sounds great,too! I look forward to trying it very soon!


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