DeNovellis owner Enzo DeNovellis outside his restaurant
The 66th playing of the Travelers Championship came to a dramatic end when Jordan Spieth holed a miraculous bunker shot, defeating Daniel Berger in a one-hole playoff. Spieth’s incredible chip put a giant red bow on another memorable week of entertainment at TPC River Highland in Cromwell.
The 52-year year old golf tournament is a four-day event, running Thursday through Sunday, but the early part of the week is jam-packed with multiple charity events, military appreciation, a family day, junior and celebrity golf tournaments, and much more.
It’s a weeklong extravaganza that brings notoriety and commerce to Cromwell and the surrounding towns. Sports fans from all over the country flock to the area to see the world’s greatest golfers complete for a total purse of $6.8 million.
Spieth walked away with a majority of the winnings, taking home a cool $1.224 million, but the professionals are not the only ones that benefit financially from the weeklong event.
During the seven days of golf-related festivities, local businesses are booming, hotels are fully booked, and restaurants come to life.
One of those restaurants is DeNovellis in Rocky Hill, which is located less than four miles away from the tournament at 944 Cromwell Avenue.
Owner Enzo DeNovellis, who runs the restaurant with his two sons Dave and Devin, has seen the positive effects of the golf tournament ever since opening his doors in 2006.
“We’ve been in business for 11 years so we have a large following, but it brings in new people who may be dropping by from the tournament. They might stop by and that’s how we get discovered,” said DeNovellis.
The family owned eatery serves up delicious northern Italian cuisine and sees an increase in traffic during the tournament, but that’s nothing new for DeNovellis and his staff.
“The tournament helps and we make sure to staff up and have plenty of inventory for the week, but it’s not the busiest week of the year,” added the owner, “Christmas time we have two, three, four parties a week and then there is New Year’s Eve, which is our busiest time of the year.”
DeNovellis has built a great reputation around town and has even attracted some of the celebrities that play and work the golf tournament, which is an official PGA event.
“We get some of the players and the caddies. This year we got the CBS crew and Jim Nantz came in for dinner. We get a lot of those people and we have a lot of the regulars that come in every week that basically they know that either the players or sports announcers will come in here so they may come to see them. It helps the business out for the week,” added DeNovellis.
About a year ago the restaurant moved from their previous location on the Silas Deane Highway to their current location on Cromwell Avenue. It’s a move that has proven to be beneficial.
“We’ve grown, our business has almost doubled since the move. We’ve grown every year and after the move we grew even more. It’s been a good thing. The restaurant business is hard. There’s a lot of competition out there, but you just have to compete. There’s always a restaurant opening nearby and you always have to stay on top of it,” added DeNovellis, who added that he enjoys running the business with sons, “That always nice and it makes it easier. It’s also a way to spend time with the family because otherwise there is no time in this business.”
The new location offers the same intimate dining experience as the old location, but also has an immaculate lounge area, which gives patrons the opportunity to spend a casual evening while enjoying the same delectable food and drinks.
DeNovellis is one of many businesses that saw an uptick in business during the Travelers Championship. The hope is that every year the tournament continues to bring excitement and increase prosperity to our local towns and economy.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin