By MICHAEL WALSH

City Steam Brewery, who single-handedly can be credited with my love for craft beer, announced Tuesday that company will be opening a new restaurant at Bishops Corner in West Hartford.

Blue Plate Kitchen will focus on comfort food and other than featuring City Steam beers will be a completely different kind of restaurant than the Hartford cornerstone.

From the West Hartford Patch:

“Other than the fact that it will feature all of City Steam’s beers, it’s a different restaurant,” DuMond said. The range of beers to be offered will be “whatever we can legally sell,” he said.

That right there is great news for future patrons of Blue Plate Kitchen. When rumors began circulating on Monday about what City Steam would be bringing to West Hartford, beer fans began wondering what the beer list would look like. Will it just be City Steam’s staple beers, all of City Steam’s regularly brewed beer or a combination of those two things and guest taps? There’s a good opportunity to make Blue Plate Kitchen a premiere hangout among beer fans in the area if we do indeed see a combination resulting in a killer tap list that Hartford County is severely lacking.

While City Steam’s bottled beers – the Naughty Nurse, Blonde on Blonde and Innocence Ale – are more than acceptable beverages, the real thing that makes City Steam a winner, and one reason I fell in love with their beer, are their smaller batch brews. Ron Page can do magical beer things. Let him do magic. Let that magic spread to Blue Plate.

More from the Hartford Courant on this and how City Steam needs to get legal approval to serve their other beers off premises:

City Steam Brewery’s “The Naughty Nurse” amber ale, “Blonde on Blonde” pale ale and “Innocence Ale,” an IPA, will be available in bottles or on tap, along with other handcrafted local beers, according to DuMond. As more of City Steam’s brews become approved to be served off the brewery premises, they’ll be added, too.

Because this is an article about City Steam, here’s my obligatory comment: please at some point in the future bring back the Drinking Nun, St. Brigette & St. TheresaCzars And GirlsAcapulco GoldTwin Peaks and Busted In Brussels. Thanks!

Blue Plate Kitchen will open in late 2013.

Blue Plate Kitchen will open in late 2013. Credit: Bishops Corner

Back to the topic at hand. The restaurant, according to the Patch article, is a partnership between a few:

That “fine chef” is Eric Cianci, who has worked with DuMond in the past and will be returning from Florida. Anthony Sousa, currently of City Steam, will be general manager and another partner. DuMond said his wife and a few limited investors have also partnered for the venture.

Sousa, a great guy, was my boss at a Wethersfield swimming pool when we were in high school. He’s done a killer job at City Steam.

This latest City Steam “expansion” comes on the heels of a business that seems to be booming. They’ve bottled three of their beers, grew their mug club more than double in size and plan on releasing more limited smaller batch beers in bombers later in 2013.

Here’s some more details from the Patch article:

The atmosphere will have a modern, industrial feel, with an open ceiling, rather than a pub feel. The 2,950 square foot interior will have seating for 90, but a large outdoor patio area will seat 60 more.

“It will be located on the plaza and have a great outdoor seating/gathering area,” Ryan Panitz, communications director for Edens which owns the Bishops Corner Shopping Center, said Tuesday morning.

The restaurant is expected to open in late 2013. Check out articles from the Hartford Courant and Patch for the entire scoop!

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