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- The open kitchen at the new Hen of the Wood in Waterbury
After more than a year of rumors, founder-owner Eric Warnstedt confirmed that Hen of the Wood
in Waterbury will move about a half mile to brand-new digs in the same town. March 18 will be the restaurant’s final night of service in the atmospheric, historic grist mill at 92 Stowe Street, where it opened in October 2005. Warnstedt, 47, said the team, led by chef Antonio Rentas and general manager Emmi Kern, will reopen Hen in a newly constructed 70-seat restaurant at 14 South Main Street in early April.
Once that transition is complete, Warnstedt wrote in an email to Seven Days
, his team will focus on turning the Stowe Street location into a restaurant with “a more family-friendly concept/price point, but still with a very strong farm-to-table ethic.”
The yet-to-be-named venue will become the fifth in Warnstedt’s restaurant group, which includes Hen of the Wood — Burlington, Doc Ponds
in Stowe and Prohibition Pig
Regarding the move of his oldest restaurant, Warnstedt acknowledged, “Nothing will compare to the mill, and we’d never try to replicate it.” While the space was long on rustic charm, he noted that it had a number of challenges. “The original kitchen was always hanging on by a shoestring and is the size of a shoebox,” he wrote.
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- File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
- Chef Antonio Rentas cooking at the original Hen of the Wood in Waterbury
Hen’s new Waterbury dining room, Warnstedt wrote, is “still pretty intimate but the space has a gorgeous open kitchen.”
The new location also has a large patio, a second downstairs bar and a private dining room decorated with a photographic portrait of the Rolling Stones from the shoot for their 1968 Beggars Banquet
album. The restaurateur and music lover called that his “favorite part of the new buildout.”
Correction March 20, 2023: The timing of the new restaurant planned for the 92 Stowe St. location remains to be determined.