After 20 years at the same location, Gordon Bonetti Florist
will be moving from the corner of Vernon and Washington Streets
to 476 Franklin Avenue, currently the home of LiVecchi's Pastry
Shop. Both businesses have been operating in the city since the
early part of this century.
John Tornatore, owner of Bonetti's said he plans to close up
shop at his current location today, August 26, and open at the
new location on Tuesday, September 8.
On Monday, Maria Santoro, Co-Owner of LiVecchi's, said she and
her associates have not yet decided if or where the popular bakery
The building in which Bonetti's is currently located is slated
for demolition to make way for the Learning Corridor, an educational
complex being built by SINA (Southside Institutions Neighborhood
Alliance) on the block bounded by Vernon, Washington and Broad
Streets and Brownell Avenue.
Tornatore said he has been told the building will be demolished
sometime in mid-September. "I wish they'd tell us a definite
date because we'd really like to come and take pictures. For
the scrapbook, you know," he said.
LiVecchi's first opened in Winsted in 1910 but moved to Hartford's
Front Street neighborhood in 1912. When that neighborhood was
slated for demolition to make way for Constitution Plaza, the
bakery became one of the first businesses from the East Side
to relocate to the South End, opening up at 458 Franklin Avenue
in 1958. The business moved to 476 Franklin Avenue in 1986.
Gordon Bonetti Florist has also been through a few changes since
first opening its doors in 1909. Tornatore said the shop was
originally located on Anawam Street but moved to Wethersfield
Avenue when the city took over the property. After 56 years on
Wethersfield Avenue, the city bought that property as well and
the florist moved to its current location at 353 Washington Street.
Although more than half of Bonetti's business comes from outside
the city, Tornatore said he didn't seriously consider moving
out of Hartford when he heard that his present location was slated
for demolition. He added that he looked at several sites on Franklin
Avenue as well as the former Friendly Restaurant locations on
Maple and Farmington Avenues before deciding to move into the
"We decided that moving out of Hartford might hurt us. We've
been associated with the city so long, if people saw we weren't
in Hartford anymore they might think we'd disappeared altogether."