REOPENING SOON? Liquid Lunch downtown gets zoning OK for longer hours, to serve beer and wine

Fred and Michele Bialek are making progress toward reopening Liquid Lunch in downtown Shelton, which had to close following the early January fire that destroyed much of a city block.

When that happens, they plan to expand the hours and begin serving beer and wine at the restaurant at 434 Howe Ave.

The Bialeks opened the original Liquid Lunch 10 years ago in their hometown, and have since opened two other locations.

The couple recently received permission from the city Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) to expand the downtown Liquid Lunch’s hours into the evening, and to serve beer and wine. They still will need to get state permission for the limited alcohol offerings. They also are awaiting Naugatuck Valley Health District approval.

Renovation work

Renovation work continues on the 1,600-square-foot downtown location, one of two storefronts to survive the Jan. 5 and 6 fire that destroyed about a half dozen ground-floor storefronts and two dozen upper-floor apartments.

Carpenters have been rebuilding parts of the inside of the Liquid Lunch structure, which sustained some damage related to the fire.

The Matto family, who owns the destroyed structure and the two remaining storefronts, is expected to move forward with plans to rebuild on the site.

Be open into the evening

Currently, the allowed hours at the downtown Liquid Lunch are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. The new hours would be 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The P&Z unanimously approved the request for longer hours and to serve beer and wine. Nancy Dickal, P&Z member, said she supports “anything that is good for downtown.”

The legal owner of the business is Liquid Lunch LLC, which is affiliated with Fred and Michele Bialek. The other Liquid Lunch locations are in Shelton’s Scinto Corporate Park and in Milford.

“We are passionate about our restaurant and fully appreciate the opportunities which have been opened to us since we opened our doors,” Michele Bialek has said about the business.