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At The Rooftop Restaurant and Bar nearly ready to open its doors

By John Fitts Staff Writer

CANTON – If a Wednesday night open house is any indication, area residents are ready to gather At The Rooftop Restaurant and Bar.

The Zen Restaurant Group is on the cusp of opening the doors at the new, expansive restaurant in Canton Village, eyeing a “soft opening” period beginning May 27, with a Grand Opening slated for June 7. (Make sure to make reservations for the soft opening period. See links below).

It’s a multi-level, expansive space that not only features a large rooftop dining area, but also an event space, several dining nooks, three bars and an Omakase sushi bar. Also featured is a self-tap wine and beer system. In all, it’s nearly 10,000 square feet and can fit up to 450 people.

The cuisine is described and New American with a global twist. It was developed by Executive Chef Dan Fortin, who has been part of the restaurant group since 2015.

The menu - posted below - features several price tiers, allowing patrons to grab appetizers, small bites, sandwiches or wraps, hamburgers, rice bowls, entrees or steaks. There's also a separate sushi menu. Japanese fusion dishes often come with an American influence and South American themed dishes are also featured, among others.

“We tried to create a menu for everybody,” said James Chen, president of the Zen Restaurant Group.

The May 22 celebration, held for family, friends, area officials, neighboring business employees and others, included a ribbon cutting with brief remarks. Several Canton officials were on hand, as were many from area towns. Helping with the ribbon cutting, for example, was Simsbury Main Street Partnership Inc., joined by officials and business owners.

State Sen. Lisa Seminara read a Connecticut General Assembly citation for the occasion and added a few thoughts as well.

“We wish you the best of luck, the most success,” she said. “I cannot get over what a beautiful space you’ve created here, and we look forward to coming many, many times.”

Canton First Selectman Kevin Witkos welcomed the restaurant on behalf of the Board of Selectmen, town officials and volunteers.

He compared the day to a great day of fishing, noting parallels to the activity and the excitement in town as people starting learning about what was happening at the site and were reeled in at every step.

“People are very excited,” Witkos said. “You can feel the energy in the community and throughout the whole Farmington Valley and I know, just like the good fishing days, you’ve got the people hook, line and sinker.”

The Zen Restaurant Group is well known in the area and runs @The Barn Restaurant in Granby, La Figata in Granby, Table 570 in Simsbury, Han Asian Cuisine in Granby, Zen Marketplace in Granby, as well as Z Catering.

Additionally, the group is still working on plans for 192 Albany Turnpike (Route 44) and Chen noted plans should go to the town soon but he said details are still in the works.

It was early in 2022 when the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for The Rooftop, which is at 220 Albany Turnpike. The buildout took longer than its owners had originally hoped and Chen noted construction schedules have been challenging in recent years. But, he's thrilled to be near the finish line - although he noted the hard work for his staff begins now.

“I’m very excited. My family is 100 percent supporting me on this project. I know it’s taken a very long time,” Chen said, adding the location will employ approximately 87 people. “Now it’s showtime. We are lucky to have a great team.”

See more at Reservations, which are via Open Table but can be accessed from this page, are strongly encouraged, particularly during the soft opening period, as that time will also be used to train staff.

Those interested can also follow  @ The Rooftop on Instagram or visit the facebook page at

Initial hours of operation (follow social media for updates):

  • Mon - Thursday. 11:30am-9pm

  • Fri. 11:30- 10pm

  • Sat. 11:30am - 10pm

  • Sun 11:30am - 9pm

  • Sat/Sun brunch will be added shortly.

Below are some pictures from the ribbon cutting and Open House event. Please keep in mind that the food served at this event was small bites - so pictures are not necessarily representative of menu items. We've also posted a menu below.

James and Sandy Chen, surrounded by family, local officials and business leaders, cut the ribbon for @The Rooftop.

Canton First Selectman congratulates members of the Chen family.

Acoustic Thunder performs at the open house. From left are Ray Dolat, Mike Kowal, and Sam Chevalier.

Maria Portal and Jon Nicoll enjoy drinks on the rooftop.

Open House hostesses pose for a photo.

From left are Roger LaFleur, Robert Bahre, Karen Bahre, Candace LaFleur and Elizabeth Corkum Winsor.

Ella Kollmorgen serves small bites at the open house.

The Chen family enjoys a quiet moment.

The open house featured a variety of appetizers, small bites and other goodies.

Simsbury officials and local business owners have a laugh as a reporter attempts to get a candid photo.
From left are Cat Pellino, Katie DaCosta, Lori Heath and Sandy Chen enjoy a moment on the rooftop.

The Omakase sushi bar was a happening place during the open house.

The Omakase sushi bar was a happening place during the open house.



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