This Week in CT: Edgy decor, oversized drinks, cutting-edge food; What led to a local restaurant flourishing during the pandemic

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The pandemic has been very tough on restaurants, but one entrepreneur in Hartford is going in another direction.

Gina Lauri is the CEO of the Place 2 Be. It started off in Hartford’s south end as a breakfast place, but now has added locations in downtown Hartford and West Hartford, and is the hot place to be seen.

“We really are a party with a side of eggs. It’s an experience, the music, the Instagramable moments, breakfast is a small part of what we do,” Lauri said.

The edgy décor and oversized drinks, and cutting-edge food, have led to long waits at its locations as people from all over come to check it out. Sales grew from $3 million in 2020 to $10 million in 2021.

Place 2 Be is opening a new location in New Haven near Yale, one in Springfield, MA, and two more in downtown Hartford.

“It is something that we want to do. We have people every day asking to open a location and we are open to it,” Lauri said.  

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