Liquid Lunch launches community effort to re-open in downtown Shelton

The damaged Howe Avenue building with Liquid Lunch and the Joy Lee restaurant after the January 2014 fire.

The damaged Howe Avenue building with Liquid Lunch and the Joy Lee restaurant after the January 2014 fire.

Liquid Lunch has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money so it can re-open at its Howe Avenue site, which closed in January 2014 due to the massive downtown fire.

Owners Fred and Michele Bialek, husband and wife, are joining with new business partner Mark Moeller to open a restaurant named Grow at the 434 Howe Ave. location.

“We chose the name because it embodies so many of the concepts we hope to represent: Community, creativity, agriculture, family, and love,” according to Liquid Lunch’s GoFundMe web page.

Michele and Fred Bialek inside the Liquid Lunch establishment at Scinto Corporate Park.

Michele and Fred Bialek inside the Liquid Lunch establishment at Scinto Corporate Park.

“Come join us on this adventure of evolution — a true phoenix rising out of the ashes, ready to become a guiding force in our community,” the web page continues. “Grow with us and help us realize the beautiful vision we have for all of our extended Liquid Lunch family.”

GoFundMe.com is a crowd-funding website, where people can make donations to help people, organizations and businesses.

‘Classically-trained chef’

Liquid Lunch specializes in soups and sandwiches, under the direction of Fred Bialek, who the GoFundMe web page describes as “a classically-trained chef with a humble, hard-working background. He leaves his ego at the door and pours his soul into his soups.”

The first Liquid Lunch opened more than 10 years ago at the downtown Shelton site, where it operated until the fire destroyed the adjacent retail/apartment building and damaged the smaller structure that housed Liquid Lunch and the Joy Lee Chinese restaurant. This area is generally known as the Matto Block.

Interior renovation work continues to reopen the Liquid Lunch location at 434 Howe Ave. in downtown Shelton.

Interior renovation work continues to reopen the Liquid Lunch location at 434 Howe Ave. in downtown Shelton.

The new restaurant, to be called Grow, would specialize in “farm fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients” to produce meals designed to remind people of “Gram’s kitchen, circa 1965,” according to the GoFundMe web page.

In the fall of 2014, Liquid Lunch received zoning permission to expand its hours into the evening and to serve beer and wine at the Howe Avenue venue.

Two other locations

The Bialeks live in Shelton and also operate Liquid Lunch locations on Research Drive in Shelton, and in Milford.

Learn more about their GoFundMe campaign by clicking below:

http://www.gofundme.com/dhk9uo

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