It’s amazing what experience can mean when opening a new restaurant: the drastic difference between a nightmare and elation, a stress-filled opening and a rousing success.
“It’s truly been amazing,” says co-owner Jim Kirtopoulos. “The community has really welcomed us, and the feedback is amazing. It really feels like we are filling a need and are wanted here in town.”
For Kirtopoulos and his business partner Ginway Lin, a Guilford resident, the opening of the new Carsons on Whitfield was based on what they saw was a need after the closing of two very poplar eatery’s, the Stonehouse and Whitfields.
“They were more than just restaurants, people felt at home there,” says Kirtopoulos. “We knew it was vital that people come, not only find great food, and great drinks, but had a place they want to be, to spend time, and can relax.”
Finding the location, which formerly housed Colors Café, was a blessing.
“The location was perfect,” he says. After a renovation, Carson’s on Whitfield opened Monday, October 10. With only a Facebook post to notify the public, the restaurant was packed.
Some were surprised initially, there was a misconception by some that the new restaurant was to be an expansion of G.W. Carson’s in Branford, which focused initially on burgers. Despite the similarity in name, the restaurant concepts are very different.
“We created Carson’s on Whitfields for Guilford,” explains Kirtopoulos. “We spoke with residents, neighbors, even town officials, and took all of that in to create the right look and feel. Carson’s is decidedly Guilford.”
So while there are a few burgers on the menu, they are of the Kobe beef and Lamb variety. Appetizers include unique items like smoked salmon crepes, chicken truffle rollatini, and crispy pork belly.
For main courses, diners already have some favorites, says general manager Scott Yarnall. “The seafood risotto has been the most requested, followed by the cajun seared tuna and lollipop pork chops.”
Also on the menu and often requested the steaks. Carson’s features two steaks on the menu, a certified angus filet mignon and NY Strip, and according to Yarnall, will feature specials as well. “We saw the need for a place to get a good steak, and we worked to fill that need,” says Kirtopoulos.
The effort to create the right menu, and the right space, looks like it will pay off in the end.
“We are so thankful for the support of the Guilford community, from town hall to our neighbors to those that have already come in, we couldn’t be happier to be here. For those that have yet to stop in, we are waiting for you.”
Carsons on Whitfield
Sun – Thursday 11 AM to Last Call @ 11:30 PM
Fri – Sat 11AM to Midnight Last Call
For photos and more, see the Facebook page here.