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  September 20, 2004

Nutmeg Grille To Re-Open As 'Chuck and Augies'

The Nutmeg Grille will reopen next semester with a new name, new hours, and a new location - but the same excellent food and service.

The new restaurant - named "Chuck and Augie's" after Charles and Augustus Storrs, the brothers who gave Connecticut the land on which the Storrs Agricultural School was developed - will be ready for a grand opening in February 2005. It may be open on a limited basis in early January.

"I think people that are used to going to the Grille for lunch will be absolutely ecstatic," says Gerald Weller, director of dining services. "The setup will be very similar to the Nutmeg, but we'll kick it all up a notch."

Located on the first floor of the renovated Student Union, near the new movie theater, the restaurant will front Union Street, the long, wide pedestrian walkway that bisects the building. It will have one glass-enclosed section jutting out toward Hillside Road.

The restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m., and will serve lunch and dinner, making it a convenient stop for people heading to basketball games or to the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Patrons also will be able to buy beer and wine to accompany their meals.

Roselyn Lamont, manager of the Nutmeg Grille and, now, of Chuck and August e's, says she is planning the menu for the new restaurant. She says a few of the favorite dishes from the Nutmeg Grille will be retained, and some special items will be added for dinner. Along with all new kitchen equipment, chef Christine Heins and the line cooks will also have a panini grill, allowing them to create upscale sandwiches.

Weller says the name change is consistent with the restaurant's new hours, new location, and hoped-for clientele.

"The Nutmeg Grille was a great name," Weller says. "But we're in a new location now, and we're trying to broaden our customer base, so it was decided it should have a different name. And, actually, Chuck & Augies was one of the possible names for a restaurant 18 years ago, when Jonathan's was ready to open, so it's been around."

Natives of Mansfield, Augustus and Charles Storrs were successful businessmen in Brooklyn, N.Y. As they neared retirement in December 1880, they donated 170 acres of property - including the buildings and grounds of a former state institution for Connecticut orphans of the Civil War - to the state, along with $5,000 for equipment and materials, with the intention of establishing an agricultural school for boys. The General Assembly approved creation of the Storrs Agricultural School in April 1881. It became the University of Connecticut in 1939.

Weller says the new, 5,300 square-foot restaurant will seat about 120 patrons.