Opening of Torrington restaurant hampered by equipment and labor delays

TORRINGTON — Carlo and Michelle Pulixi’s restaurant, Geppetto Osteria, was due to open this month, but problems getting the necessary supplies upended their plans.

The couple have been renovating the East Main Street space, formerly O’Connor’s Irish Pub, for almost a year.

But like business owners across the country, Carlo Pulixi is still waiting for materials and supplies to complete the job – and he can’t open until that’s done, meaning the restaurant won’t open. not until next year.

“It’s terrible, really,” said Carlo Pulixi. “Delaying our opening is not our choice. Things are behind schedule, and we just have to wait. It takes months and months to get some of the equipment we need.

According to Fortune.comThe shipping delay crisis has been going on for nearly two years, with shipping routes strained by the pandemic, extreme weather and other factors.

Another challenge is finding skilled workers to fix things, Pulixi said.

“We need to replace the fan in the cooker hoods (in the kitchen) and we’re having trouble getting people to come in even to just take a look,” he said. “Even specialists are very hard to find at the moment.”

He is also waiting for his plumber and tile fitters to finish their work inside the restaurant. “The tiling guy has to finish. The plumber has to finish.

“We’re not going to open until probably mid-January,” Pulixi said. “When we’re done, we’ll have been working on Geppetto for a year.”

The couple also have Convivium, a Brooklyn restaurant they’ve run for over 20 years. Pulixi said he and his wife have been spending more time in the city lately, running this restaurant. “I’ve been in Brooklyn more, working there, than all summer,” he said. “Before, we used to go there once every two or three weeks, but now we are there every week. Fortunately, we got busy in Brooklyn. It’s not back to normal, but it’s pretty close.

Restaurants like Convivium have been able to stay open, he said, thanks to loyal customers, but the past year and a half has been difficult for everyone. Now business is improving.

“New York is starting to pick up,” he said. “More places are opening and more people are starting to go out.”

Another challenge is finding employees. “We still can’t find all the help we need,” he said. “I was frustrated, even angry about it, but now I just have to accept it. I just can’t wait to open.

The Pulixis are very happy to have chosen to open Geppetto in Torrington. “We are so excited,” Pulixi said.

“To be honest it was Michelle who pushed for Torrington. I wanted to be in New Milford but it didn’t work out. And the people of Torrington have been just wonderful, so welcoming. Mayor (Elinor Carbone) stopped by in a day, just to say hello, introduce herself and see what we were up to. She was so supportive.”

Geppetto will offer an Italian and European menu similar to Conviviumknown for its 48-ounce steaks and regional Italian cuisine.

The interior of the Torrington Restaurant features a refurbished copper bar and handmade tables, benches and other furniture, intended to create an atmosphere similar to restaurants in Italy that were built inside old houses. Geppetto’s exterior walls have recently been given a stucco finish, intended to look more like period buildings in Italy.

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