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Business Buzz - Panificio Navona Finds Its True Home In Newtown

Published: July 01, 2018 at 12:00 am

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Frank Navone, owner, chef, and creative director of the Panificio Navona bakery cafe is pictured in the recently relocated establishment. His move from Bethel to the Village at Lexington Gardens at 32 Church Hill Road provides an opportunity for Mr…
Frank Navone, owner, chef, and creative director of the Panificio Navona bakery cafe is pictured in the recently relocated establishment. His move from Bethel to the Village at Lexington Gardens at 32 Church Hill Road provides an opportunity for Mr Navone to enjoy more customer traffic and to evolve from a quality-driven breakfast, lunch, and coffee establishment to featuring a new weekend dinner menu, beginning July 8, as well as evening cordials, petite desserts, and occasional live music. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Business name: Panificio Navona

Address: The Village at Lexington Garden
32 Church Hill Road, Newtown

Owner: Frank Navone

Business background: Frank Navone has been a professional and commercial photographer for 32 years, but about six years ago, he began thinking of diversifying into high quality food service. With inspiration from his grandfather, who owned a bakery in Elmira, N.Y. - where Mr Navone worked as a boy - and his mom, who owned and operated a full service restaurant, he converted part of his cavernous photography studio in a Bethel industrial park into his first bakery cafe. There, he began the process of expanding his creative artistry from visual to culinary. His hope to expand into providing full dinner service, and to add wine and beer to his menu, was not conducive to the Bethel location, so he took advantage of acquiring the space that is now Panificio Navona in the new Village at Lexington Gardens in his hometown of Newtown.

Business Focus: Mr Navone finds the unique space is not only ideally located for increased customer traffic, but he says the bakery cafe model providing counter versus wait service is unique and does not compete with any other similar food service establishments in town. "This new space is both my vision and my soul," he says. "Our tempo is slow and easy, and since everything is made from scratch and by hand, we don't position ourselves as a fast food provider. We serve our customers quickly, but do not rush our preparation by having a lot of pre-made ingredients sitting around."

The cozy but comfortable atmosphere of the cafe is also the product of Mr Navone's eye for design, with an emphasis on visuals, whether they be items of collectible photographic paraphernalia, signage, antique toys, or artwork. And his kitchen is specifically laid out to facilitate delivering every order as quickly as possible given each dish is made from scratch. There is also a diverse variety of baked goods available to enjoy on the premises or to go.

Important to Know: Panificio Navona offers wine and beer, along with a wide variety of beverages and a unique, flavorful three bean coffee that Mr Navone says is blended by hand. Beginning July 8, he will be featuring limited Friday and Saturday dinner service for those looking to eat-in or take out, along with select cordials and petite desserts "perfect for folks on the way to or from the theater or other evening activities."

He hopes to bring in occasional light acoustic and jazz entertainment and plans to keep the cafe open between 3 and 6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays while he changes over the kitchen for dinner preparation. Panificio Navona always looks for opportunities to source menu ingredients locally, and the menu is subject to change based on seasonal or daily availability of those ingredients.

Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8 am to 5 pm (kitchen closes 4 pm sharp); Sunday 8 am to 3 pm; beginning July 8 - Friday, Saturday 8 am to 3 pm full kitchen service; 3 to 6 pm cafe service only; 6 to 10 pm dinner menu, cordials, and petite desserts.

Social Media: Facebook

Phone: 203-270-1511

Website / E-Mail: panificionavona.com / info@panificionavona.com.

 

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
25% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (2 votes)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
25% (1 vote)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4