Cafemantic in Willimantic relaunches as Stone Row with new look, new concept

JUN 29, 2020 AT 4:42 PM

Cafemantic in Willimantic is relaunching as Stone Row Kitchen & Bar, with a new look, a new bar, expanded outdoor dining and a new patio level.

The concept is inspired by its tenement neighborhood along the Willimantic River, according to a news release, and notes a commitment to “community well-being, livable wages and sourcing from regional producers.” The restaurant will also move to a hospitality-included model, with a 20% service charge added to each check instead of traditional tipping.

Owner Andrew Gütt, executive chef Tyler May and sous chef TJ Bonomo have created an “approachable but elevated workingman’s menu,” working closely with regional farmers, fishermen and foragers. The menu features snacks and starters ($8 to $16) like a meat and cheese board, black figs with goat cheese, olives with feta, focaccia garlic bread, Mystic oysters, salads and tuna tartare; smaller plates ($9 to $16) like mussels, hand-rolled gnocchi and lamb meatballs; and main courses ($19 to $49) including a burger with local beef, Stonington scallops, 12-ounce NY strip and a roasted half-chicken for two.

Gütt, a native of Marlborough, opened Cafemantic on Main Street in Willimantic in 2009, starting the business as a daytime coffee shop. In a 2014 interview with The Courant, he described the early years as a gradual evolution toward its latest incarnation, an eclectic gathering spot with a farm-inspired menu.

“The idea of Stone Row is recognizing the humanity of hospitality and the humanity of food,” Gütt said in Monday’s statement. “Like our neighborhood, it’s comfortable and well worn. We reinvented the neighborhood with Cafémantic and we’re tenacious enough to do that again with Stone Row. It’s time.”