HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s taken more than a decade, but Hartford’s ‘Front Street’ entertainment district finally has what’s expected to be the big draw.
The development is across Columbus Blvd from the Connecticut Convention Center and the Science Center. It sat vacant for years but now there’s a lot of life, with restaurants and hundreds of apartments and condos being built in the area.
In 1971, the smash folk/pop hit “Sunshine” put singer/songwriter Jonathon Edwards on the map in the world of pop music. He’s in town to perform at tonight’s free concert to open the Infinity Hall in Hartford that city and state leaders believe will finally put the ‘Front Street’ entertainment complex on the map.
The intimate 500-seat music hall is a replica of the restored, 13-year-old Infinity Hall Opera House in the Litchfield Hills at Norfolk. The Norfolk hall has been attracting hundreds of acts every year and is the subject of a television concert series being broadcast by Public Television Stations around the country.
It’s the kind of place that music artists just love. “This is such a unique place, such a unique space, venue, because it is a venue, built as a venue. So it’s really a unique, special privilege to be playing in a venue that was built form the ground up, just for us,” says Edwards.
Music lover Dan Hincks, who’s a successful businessman, always wanted to do this in Hartford, but the Norfolk building opportunity came along first. “I never lost sigh of Hartford being the best place in the state for a great, intimate music hall and so when the opportunity came up, we decided to go for it,” says Hincks.
Edwards added, “He’s one of the few people who you meet in this business who is an actual lover of music and the people who make it.”
Like the hall in Norfolk, there’s a four-star bistro here too, bringing the number of restaurants and bistros in the Front Street project area to seven.
There’s a free concert tonight to kick things off Hincks says the Hartford location will have 250 concerts a year, and the bistro is open every night.