Stratford's Two Roads Brewing planning food hall in former PizzaCo space

Stratford's Two Roads Brewing is planning to open a food hall across the street from its brewery, its owners announced Monday.

The new 70-seat venue, Two Roads Food Hall and Bar, will open in the former PizzaCo space early next year, with three "craft casual" restaurant concepts, a full bar and an outdoor patio. PizzaCo, which opened in 2017, announced its closing on Oct. 26.

Brad Hittle, Two Roads' CEO, said he and his partners began considering a restaurant component to the brewery's campus as life was "returning to normality" after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"At that point in time, we said it's a very competitive world out there, and we probably ought to start doing some some new and different things around here too, just to stay ahead of the game," Hittle said.

An exterior view of PizzaCo, a pizza restaurant along Stratford Avenue in Stratford, which closed in October 2022. The space will become a food hall by Two Roads Brewing in early January 2023. 

An exterior view of PizzaCo, a pizza restaurant along Stratford Avenue in Stratford, which closed in October 2022. The space will become a food hall by Two Roads Brewing in early January 2023. 

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

Two Roads is working with restaurant consultant Frank Klein and his company, FK Restaurants & Hospitality, to design and build the space. Klein, whose bicoastal business has offices in Fairfield and in the San Francisco Bay Area, said he intends for the food hall's offerings to be "very approachable, very affordable," with high-quality local ingredients. 

The food hall will feature Industry Schnitzel Bar, a German-themed brand with schnitzel, sausages and pretzels; Roost House, focusing on fried chicken sandwiches and chicken salads, and Skull City Taquitos, a Mexican-inspired brand specializing in the crunchy rolled tacos. All three concepts will offer salads and plant-based items. 

Two Roads will offer menus and self-ordering kiosks in each taproom, so guests can order food from the hall and have it delivered to their tables. While the food hall will be part of the brewery campus, it's also intended to be a stand-alone destination restaurant, Klein said.

The Food Hall & Bar will offer exclusive vintage barrel-aged beers, new beers developed for each food concept, and a cocktail program focused on Two Roads’ distilled spirits and others from local producers. The concepts will also have batch cocktails on draft intended to match the food, Klein said, referencing potential tropical-flavored drinks for Skull City Taquitos.

H2Roads is a line of “craft hard seltzer” from Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford.

H2Roads is a line of “craft hard seltzer” from Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford.

Winter Caplanson

The beverage program will also offer lower-alcohol and zero-proof selections to appeal to all guests, Hittle and Klein said, as they've noticed a shift in drinking habits, particularly among Gen-Z customers. Two Roads released its non-alcoholic Juicy IPA in May, with the intent to expand its non-alcoholic product line.

"We want people to drink how they want to drink," Klein said. 

Two Roads opened in 2012 and has grown rapidly in the decade since, becoming the state's largest brewery. In 2017, Paste Magazine named it one of the country's top 10 breweries. Two Roads introduced its Area Two brewing facility in 2019, a space for small-batch product development and experimental brews, and the product line has expanded to include hard seltzers and canned vodka cocktails.

The food hall is expected to open the first week of January, and Two Roads plans to host pop-up dining events at Area Two in December, to introduce the concepts to guests ahead of its debut.

"[The food hall] makes for an incredible sort of campus experience for people, who want to come here and not just go to the tap room," Hittle said. "It makes for just a really cool place to go. [Visitors will] say, 'I'm going to go to Two Roads this Saturday and experience food, music and great beer and spirits, cocktails, seltzer, you name it.' It just broadens the whole experience."