How was our first visit to the new Clevelands' Country Store of Torrington? To steal a phrase from The Nature Boy - 'Woooooooooo!', What an upgrade.

One of my more popular articles over the past year was about Carbone's Market in Torrington, and their fat grinders. Unfortunately, those fat grinders have gone away with Carbone's Market. The good news is, shortly after Carbone's announced their closure around Halloween 2023, a new sheriff by the name of Clevelands' Country Store signed on for the space at 221 Oak Avenue.

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The dust was flying out of those doors through January 2024, old fixtures were hauled out the back door, and the new Clevelands' Country Store of Torrington boldly opened their doors for a soft-Grand Opening on Super Bowl Sunday, February 11. Mrs. Large and I stopped in around 3PM, here's our thoughts: What a pleasant upgrade from the former Carbone's. The interior of the store has completely opened up, with all of the former empty shelves and aisles replaced by tables and chairs. The sparse selection of dusty Wise and Napoli products have been replaced by a wall of old-fashioned candy, hot sauces, pancake and dip mixes, local maple syrups, exotic jerky, homemade ice cream, pickled products, and even some home decor - incense, and saying signs. The massive beverage coolers are stocked with many new drink choices, and a nice coffee area has been set up. The grinders? Well, they're not packed with a pound and a half of lunchmeat anymore, but who cares? What Clevelands' offers is inventive grinder combinations, paninis, and wraps. Another upgrade to the deli meat - Clevelands' offers Boar's Head meats.

Photo by Large Dave
Photo by Large Dave
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As we were leaving, we complimented the staff for their hard work, and introduced ourselves to the Chris, the new owner. Chris thanked us for our patience, as the store was truly slammed, and asked if we would like to try a complimentary energy drink. He then pulled a can with Ric Flair's face out from behind the counter and popped it into our bag. If there's an epidemic of figure four leg locks in Coe Park next week, please, call Hulk Hogan, Jimmy's and Nardelli's.

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