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Hudson restaurateurs putting energy into Connecticut project

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If you like the sort of restaurant Jeff Gimmel and Nina Bachinsky-Gimmel run, now you have two places to experience it. The couple who have enjoyed success since 2004 in restaurant-centric Hudson, Columbia County, with their Swoon Kitchenbar, have taken over and reimagined a Stonington, CT, waterside operation they are calling Swooner.

Tyler Viggiano is Swooner's chef de cuisine and Jake Crittenden runs the front of the house. Gimmel, 2012 James Beard Nominee for Best Northeastern Chef, told The Day newspaper he and his wife are devoting almost all of their time to Swooner and have rented a home locally. No word on what that means for the future of their Hudson restaurant. Stonington is located 165 miles east of Hudson, on the Connecticut shore overlooking the eastern tip of Long Island Sound.

Their new enterprise is the successor to Skipper's Dock at 66 Water Street in Stonington. The Gimmels moved in when the property owners declined to renew the Skipper's Dock operators' lease. Not so coincidentally, those property owner also own the Inn at Stonington, where the Gimmels often stay.

"I said to Nina, 'Let's go to Stonington for the weekend and getsome seafood and look at the cold water,'" Gimmel told The Day newspaper of how the
opportunity presented itself during a winter getaway. They ended up being approached by Inn owners Bill Griffin and Charles Royce and, after doing extensive work on the property including gutting and replacing the kitchen, now are serving dinner with lunch service on the horizon.

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