Connecticut is a tough state for new national chain restaurants to establish a foothold, look at all of the sandwich makers that have come and gone trying to compete with Subway and Nardelli's over the years. Two cities in Connecticut always seem to land the first-of-its-kind restaurants, Bristol and Enfield. When and why did they become the test markets for us?

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Mrs. Large works in Enfield on the weekends, and she was the first one to clue me in that Connecticut's first Raising Cane's, a national chicken finger/tender-focused fast food restaurant, will open near the Enfield Square Mall at 90 Elm Street in the next few months. And here we go again Enfield, with the news that you're going to have the first Saladworks in Connecticut in Enfield Square too at 95 Elm Street. New chicken fingers, and a salad-focused restaurant? Damn it Enfield, you have a reptile and amphibian education center and 25 vape and smoke shops too? I'd almost move there, if it wasn't for Bristol.

Connecticut's hidden culinary gem truly is Bristol. Way back in the early 90's? The first Taco Bell in Connecticut was along Rt. 6 by (at the time) Stephen's World of Wheels. Right up the street on 6 was the first Hobby Lobby I remember in Connecticut. Bristol is also home to this place -

Photo by Large Dave
Photo by Large Dave

The first coffee 'flight' that I recall seeing in Connecticut? The Roasted Bean's, again on Rt. 6 in Bristol. Enfield and Bristol are where to go to find something new right now.

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