ABOUT HARTFORD RESTAURANT GROUP
It All Started in Hartford, CT – Culinary Capitol of the World.
Okay, maybe not according to most travel and leisure magazines. But there are lots of people who say Hartford's dining scene is downright burgeoning – including a group of young restaurateurs with the ambition, energy and vision to put their money (and some really great food) where their mouths are.
The Hartford Restaurant Group is the management arm behind a group of restaurants with roots in Greater Hartford. HRG restaurants include Agave Grill in Hartford; the Wood-n-Tap Bar & Grill in Hartford, Farmington, Orange, Southington, Rocky Hill, Vernon, Wallingford, Hamden and Newington.
Come As You Are
In 2002, a group of four friends combined their unique backgrounds and skill sets to develop the Wood-n-Tap restaurant brand. In mere months, what started as a rough sketch of a wooden keg on a cocktail napkin turned into the Wood-n-Tap Hartford, one of the most popular new restaurants the city had seen in years. Two years later, HRG opened the Wood-n-Tap Farmington with comparable success and the rest is history.
Key to the success of the Wood-n-Tap is the synergy of the partners' individual skill sets. Mike Hamlin's expertise in real estate and construction is key to finding suitable locations and building out the facilities. Phil Barnett's marketing experience helps give the restaurants their unique personalities and high-visibility throughout Connecticut. Ken McAvoy's extensive food expertise helped create the restaurants' innovative menus and manage daily operations.
In 2004, HRG expanded its horizons and crossed culinary borders. The original four welcomed in a new partner – the business savvy Al Ferranti – and offered up "something different downtown," namely Agave Grill. The partners quickly turned the modern Mexican masterpiece into a favorite haunt for Hartford's hippest and a particular favorite for gathering before and after events at the Hartford Civic Center. An adventurous menu, extensive tequila bar, live Mariachi bands, authentic Mexican folk art and the freshest margaritas north of the Rio Grande struck a chord with diners and Agave remains one of the most popular downtown destinations.
Restaurant on Wheels
In late 2013 HRG introduced Agave Canteen – Award winning Mexican food on a truck! The Canteen has been a huge success and our famous Spicy BBQ Pork Street Tacos were recognized by Food Network Magazine as the tastiest taco in Connecticut in their search for the 50 best tacos in the country. The Canteen can be seen in Hartford serving the city’s hard working folks during lunch and is also available for catering & private events.
Since 2002, the focus, vision and just plain hard work of HRG has resulted in two unique dining concepts and elevent of the most well-loved restaurants in Connecticut. And in that time, the group has also made giving back a priority, donating thousands and thousands to such non-profit organizations as the Boys and Girls Clubs, Hartford Blooms, Hartford Arts Council, Lea's Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Make a Wish, Channel 3 Kids Camp, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and many more.
HRG has certainly kept their collective plates full in recent years. But they still have plenty of appetite for growth. Who knows, if HRG keeps going like this, Hartford may truly become the culinary capitol of the world. Well, at least of Southern New England. Cheers.