Has Park Street lost a celebrated Portuguese restaurant, once described by a Courant reviewer as "the best thing to happen to Hartford dining in a long, long time"?
O'Porto, which opened in 2005 at 2074 Park Street and earned fans for its paehla and other authentic dishes, has shown signs of closure recently. On Friday afternoon, a sign on the restaurant's front door read "Closed for vacation" – but another sign, hanging on the fence surrounding O'Porto's patio, read "For Rent." The restaurant's phone number has also been disconnected.
A call to the number on the "For Rent" sign rang through to Hartford Self Storage at 1407 Park St. On Monday, a employee there who declined to give her name said there were three spaces for rent at 2074 Park Street, but would not say specifically if the restaurant was one of them. However, a Craigslist rental ad for the building specifically references O'Porto Restaurant's availability on the first floor, with "approx [sic] 6000 sq ft-kitchen and private bathrooms."
O'Porto owner Sergio De Sousa did not respond to an email request for comment. The building is owned by 2074-2100 Park Street, LLC, according to records; the company’s principal, Carlos Mouta, also did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2005, months after its opening, reviewer Michael Gannon called O'Porto "the kind of place to bring your out-of-town friends who smirk at the idea of good food existing outside their bustling big cities." The restaurant most recently participated in the Taste of Hartford dining promotion, which ended Aug. 3.