It seems like every time I walk down Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road, there is a sign popping up for yet another restaurant serving international cuisine, a commitment to offering the next trendy food craze, or a cocktail menu longer than the food menu itself. Division West Bistro and Bar, a new restaurant slated to open later this summer in West Hartford, intends to entertain guests with a simple mission— great food at reasonable prices in a contemporary, community-oriented space.
Co-Owners Ermal Caushi and Jimi Brahimi are veterans to the Greater Hartford restaurant scene. Caushi spent seven years working at Peppercorn’s Grill on Main Street in Hartford and Brahimi was a part of Max’s Restaurant Group for 17 years. While Division West is not affiliated with Max’s or Peppercorn’s, Caushi and Brahimi aspire to have the same devoted following and renowned cuisine their former restaurants already have. Caushi’s family, who owns Trinity Restaurant in Hartford, gave him one word of advice when he announced he was embarking on this venture— “Don’t.”
Caushi and Brahimi are working with an interior designer to design a space that will be both contemporary while looking towards the past. Caushi explains, “The name Division West comes from the late 1600s, when West Hartford was known as the ‘West Division of Hartford.’ We will be incorporating some historic elements built into a contemporary look.” Contemporary elements include wooden ceiling beams, a chef’s table in the middle of the restaurant that will seat 10 guests, and a large window looking into the kitchen— a design intended so guests to be able to see the action without hearing the noise.
Based on their own expertise, tastes, and backgrounds, the menu will be modern American bistro fare with French and Italian influences, some Asian flares, and Mediterranean spins (Caushi moved from Albania to the U.S. in 2003). Brahimi and Caushi also intend to provide seasonal menus, which will constantly changie based on new ingredients that become available or that they’re inspired by. In an attempt to make the space as inviting and community-centered as possible, Caushi wants everyone— families, couples, co-workers, friends— to feel welcome in the restaurant. Part of this mission involves making the prices reasonable— “Why would I charge $57 for a steak when I can’t even afford a $57 steak?”
**Looking for experience in the restaurant industry? Division West in currently accepting applications for all in-house positions!! Send your resume and a brief statement of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org