Wood-Fired Pizza Place, Japanese Noodle Shop, Fresh Salads and More: Pine Street Concessions Opens Wednesday

Miyuki and Dante Mirafiore, Culinary Institute of America-trained chefs who have been married three years, long have dreamed of opening up their own eateries. They’ve worked in kitchens in New York City, Connecticut and California, including a recent stint at Alice Waters’ landmark Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Some months ago, the Mirafiores received a call about a place they’d never heard of—New Canaan—and a unique model for delivering high-quality food that they’d never considered. “I love that it’s not a restaurant,” Dante Mirafiore said as he stood at the counter in front of his wood-fired pizza oven at Pine Street Concessions, grating Scamorza—an Italian cow’s milk cheese—into a bowl for his special New York-style pie. “It’s what you want to make it as a customer.

‘We Found Great Chefs’: Noodle Shop, Wood-Fired Italian Food Provider and California-Inspired Organic Eatery To Open at ‘Pine Street Concessions’ This Spring

Three eateries are slated to open this spring in the newly built gourmet food hall that’s taken shape on Pine Street over the past year, officials say. Featuring a brick-paved curbside plaza out front and communal seating inside, the widely anticipated Pine Street Concessions will serve as a showcase for three artisanal chefs—each with his or her own retail counter space and kitchen—serving classic wood-fired oven pizza and Italian foods, noodles and Asian street food snacks, and California-inspired fresh salads, grain bowls and other organic fare, according to owner Peter Lane of NCLC. Lane said he’s been deliberate in searching for the right businesses to open at 75 Pine St., offering foods that are unique in New Canaan, organic and locally sourced when possible and will appeal to families with young kids as well as adults seeking a casual spot to dine out (beer and wine will be available). “We feel great that we found great chefs,” he said Tuesday morning from the spacious floor inside the steel-framed structure, naturally lit with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the street and a 20-space parking lot. When Pine Street Concessions opens, the plaza out front will be all-pedestrian, closed within planters and bollards as per the Planning & Zoning Commission’s approval two years ago and featuring picnic tables for diners.

‘We Are Really Close’: Pine Street Concessions Building Nearly Finished, Actively Seeking Vendors

The new Grand Central-style marketplace that’s been taking shape on Pine Street since construction started last fall is nearing completion, and its owner said he’s now actively seeking four or five food- and beverage-related businesses to operate out of it. Peter Lane of NCLC said he’s in conversations with prospective vendors regarding Pine Street Concessions at 75 Pine St. (check out its new website here). Those vendors likely would need another six to eight weeks to get set up in the 1.5-story, 3,000-square-foot metal, framed open structure, which is designed to resemble an old railroad building. “We have go to finish the streetscape with the lampposts and street trees, and we have got to finish the mechanicals inside and painting and some decorative elements of the building are still to be finished, so we are close, we are really close,” Lane said.

Spring Opening Planned for ‘Pine Street Concessions’; Owner Seeks Four Vendors

The new Grand Central-style marketplace that’s taking shape on Pine Street is on track to open some time before May 1, its owner said. The roof of the 1.5-story ‘Pine Street Concessions’ is nearly finished, and passersby soon will see windows installed, leaving only sheet rock, electrical, plumbing and heating work to do over the next six weeks, according to Peter Lane of NCLC. The site work—all new sidewalks, trees, paving and granite curbing—will take place simultaneously, said Lane, who also owns Halo Studios. “I’m excited to deliver a marketplace with these four vendors,” Lane said. “Just like with Halo, it’s about finding great vendors, so that’s our objective now as we bring this to completion.”

“It should be a great opportunity for the right vendors to get into what I would call almost a food truck-type environment, where the cost going in is not a lot—the building is done, bathrooms are done, heating and cooling.

Pine Street Renaissance Expands Downtown New Canaan Footprint

With a growing array of commercial storefronts expanding New Canaan’s downtown footprint, the Pine Street of 2015 is a far cry that of years’ past. Once known primarily for the location of the Post Office and a Grand Union supermarket, Pine Street has undergone a rebirth in recent years, evolving into a destination for established and new businesses alike. “I love our location, I don’t think it could be better,” Eugene Chun, owner of CT Sandwich Co., told NewCanaanite.com. “We’re close enough to Elm Street and all the action but we’re not caught in congestion—it makes things a lot easier.”

Retail businesses are not the only ones attracted to Pine Street. For BJ Flagg, principal at Nurenu Brand Marketing, a need for additional space was one of the reasons in her move from an office on Elm to one on Pine last month.