The Whey Station(ary), the brick and mortar restaurant in Middletown by the owners of the Whey Station grilled-cheese truck, will reopen again Sept. 17 after a five-month closure. Its popular food truck has also resumed weekend late-night stops by Wesleyan University’s campus.
Jillian Moskites, who co-owns the restaurant and truck with her husband, Josh, said they made the decision to reopen as Wesleyan students and staff returned to Middletown. “Now that it’s starting to get cooler out, it’s definitely more fitting for our menu,” she said.
With seating at 50% capacity, Whey Station(ary) can only offer 24 seats indoors, Moskites, said, so the restaurant will operate four days a week from Thursday to Sunday. The menu will be more streamlined with fewer items, focusing on its grilled cheeses and other key favorites.
The reopening comes after a difficult spring and summer for the businesses, Jillian said. In mid-March, one month after Whey Station(ary)’s one-year anniversary in Middletown, Gov. Ned Lamont ordered restaurants closed for dine-in service to combat the spread of COVID-19. At the time, Moskites said she didn’t think takeout-only was a viable model for the eatery, with no easy curbside pickup option.
The couple decided to temporarily close the restaurant in early April. Connecticut’s COVID-19 restrictions eased to allow outdoor dining in May, but that wasn’t a relief for Whey Station(ary), either, as the restaurant didn’t have enough sidewalk space on Middletown’s Main Street.
The Moskites also lost the majority of their summer truck business, with no concerts at Hartford’s XFINITY Theatre and no large outdoor festivals. Their weekly Sunday stop, the Coventry Farmer’s Market, moved to a pre-order and pickup model this season.
The couple received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, Moskites said, and the business has seen an uptick in catering orders in recent weeks.
“We’re sticking with what we know works with the truck, and not taking risks for [events] that were schedule fillers,” she said. “For us not to take the risks and be wise and bide our time, made the most sense for us.”
Throughout the pandemic-related closure, Whey Station(ary) kept its outreach program going, Moskites said, continuing to feed people in the community who are homeless and hungry. This outreach will continue every Sunday.
The Whey Station(ary), at 544 Main St. in Middletown, will be open Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Delivery is also available through GrubHub and UberEats. 860-740-2403, wheystationary.com.
Follow @wheystation on Instagram for updates on the truck schedule.
Leeanne Griffin can be reached at [email protected]
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