“Valencia Luncheria customers will never have to wait in line again” says Michael Young, owner of the Norwalk eatery that has achieved cult-like status in the minds and stomachs of Fairfield County diners. After 6 years of arepa driven success, Valencia is growing up and getting bigger...much bigger in fact. Michael Young tells CTbites that Norwalk's Valencia Luncheria will be moving to a new location, possibly as soon on April 1st (no joke) just 600 feet down the street. While the menu and look and feel will not change, the address will. Put it in your nav systems; 164 Main Street will be the new home to Chef Young’s authentic Venezuelan beach food.
“The entire floor plan of the existing Valencia can fit in the new kitchen (of what was once New Moon China Bistro),” says Young. Four times the size of the old Valencia, the new venue will sport the same bright colors and that casual “just stepped off the beach” feel diners have come to know and love. The shelves laden with ripe plantains will migrate over as well, but the new Valencia will feature a major upgrade: a liquor license and a bar. Sure you can still bring your own, but why would you when you can indulge in one of Michael’s inventive cocktails (a la Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfield, which he also owns). Also on the bar menu will be bottled and draft beer as well as wine.
The usual cast of Valencia Luncheria characters, cooks and staff will move over to the new venue, where an enormous kitchen will make Valencia’s booming catering operation more convenient and in house service less cramped. Another noteworthy feature in the new kitchen is a smoker that is big enough to fit an entire pig. Expect some serious smoked meat on the menu here.
The process of transforming the Chinese influenced interior will begin shortly, with features including an 8 person bar, intimate dining for large parties (does this mean reservations?), and bathrooms that don’t require a journey through the kitchen. (Although I always enjoyed that quick glimpse at the busily working cooks en route).
What will happen to the old Valencia spot? Who knows? Michael says he is not giving it up just yet.
Look for the NEW old Valencia Luncheria, (along with their "slapped guacamole," crack chipotle sauce, steak al parilla, and arepas) at 164 Main Street in Norwalk in early April. CTbites will keep you posted on the details of the opening, so stay tuned for more on the big move.