Vito's Shutters in New Britain

Vito's, a casual Italian restaurant and happy hour mainstay with locations in Hartford, Wethersfield, Newington and Windsor, abruptly shuttered their New Britain outpost last weekend. The sudden closing led many to believe that the group was in danger of folding altogether, but owner Rob Maffucci has informed the Courant that will not be the case.

The location simply wasn't pulling a profit, and the space is already shopping for a new tenant, ideally a "full-scale sports bar." More than anything, the departure represents a blow to New Britain's dining scene. Vito's arrived with much fanfare in April of last year and seemed to fill a niche, offering cheap, above-average pub grub, an affordable wine list and plenty of martini options. Unlike its Hartford counterpart, the New Britain outpost removed many upscale Italian dishes from the menu and replaced them with a massive selection of flavored chicken wings, brick oven and Chicago-style stuffed pizzas, antipasti, salads, burgers and wraps. With the NFL season kicking off this weekend, Vito's is sure to be missed.

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