Anderson, who has made his mark on the state’s culinary scene as a very respected executive chef who believes in “from the ground up” fresh ingredients, will open the new place called Millwright’s in the historic West Street grist mill that formerly housed the Hop Brook Tavern. The new dining venue is part of multi-tiered development project that includes the Grist Mill Commons housing development and Stone Building office space.
“It’s been a lifelong dream to open my own restaurant,” said the 34-year-old who is working on the dining venture with developers, Ron Janeczko and Chris Nelson, partners in the Farmington-based Landworks Development LLC. “I loved my time at Copper Beech Inn but owning my own place will allow me to be creative in every aspect of the dining experience,” said the married father of two who joined The Copper Beech about four years ago, most recently overseeing its restaurant, Pip’s at The Copper Beech Inn. “Buying local, styling the ambience, developing the menu, owning my own place allows me to create the concept from start to finish.”
Anderson was a winner on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” and has paired with other well-known Connecticut chefs to cook at the famous James Beard House in New York. A regular participant at some of the state’s most popular dine arounds and cooking competitions, Anderson has worked at the Dining Room of The Ritz Carlton in Chicago and the Equinox in Manchester, Vermont. He has worked with notable chefs including Charlie Trotter, Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris and catapulted several restaurants into award-winning venues.
Anderson, also well-known for his tattooed arms, said the former tavern space is being gutted and will be renovated to into a fine dining venue on one floor and a more casual tavern on another. He anticipates the new restaurant will open in mid to late June.
Anderson said he plans to help find his replacement for the Ivoryton landmark, a place he said he will miss.
“I have been very fortunate to work with an excellent restaurant team and Ian and Barbara Phillips, whom I respect dearly,” he said. “ My intention is to leave this great property with a food and beverage operation that it deserves, which will continue to operate at the highest level. As we restructure and re-conceptualize the food and beverage operation here, while I transition out to my new project, Pip’s will serve our normal dinner service on Friday and Saturday evenings only, for the next few weeks. We will be open for Easter and Mother’s Day holiday brunches. We will continue to offer superlative event services,” Anderson said.