1920 Bar & Bistro Breathes New Life into Iconic “Old Norwalk” Location

Published February 12th 2024

New American Cuisine with an Old School Style and Sensibility
February 12, 2024, Norwalk, CT:   1920 Bar & Bistro launched in December of 2023, transforming the iconic brick structure at 2 Wilton Avenue, on the corner of Cross Street in Norwalk into an exciting new dining experience.  The structure was built in 1920 and was home to Norwalk's first electric generation station and then a hat factory. It stood its ground as the Lighthouse Restaurant and Piano bar in its heyday, followed by a successive, albeit less than stellar, line-up of tavern-esque style restaurants.   Today, this beloved neighborhood landmark has been revitalized by owner Vishal Dhar with a vision of a laid-back and fun destination with unfussy and delicious new American cuisine, exquisite wine, and throwback cocktails, all wrapped in nostalgia.
1920 Bar & Bistro makes great use of the building’s 7,000 sq ft and its various rooms, which now feature a casual all-day bar and bistro, a cocktail lounge with a baby grand piano, and the 1920 dining room, a more elegant setting for those special evenings, as well as 1920’s distinctive Chef’s Table events and theme dinners.  1920 Café will soon open and serve coffee, breakfast, and light lunches.
An eclectic display of artwork adorns the walls, and rare vintage dressing screens fill the space with intrigue and whimsy. The restaurant's charming and colorful table linens and mismatched vintage plates and glassware illustrate Dhar's love for antiques. Dark wood beams, exposed brick walls, a stately and expansive bar, and those spectacular creaky floors are a constant reminder of the restaurant’s history and the space that holds wonderful memories for its locals. While the name is an homage to its past, 1920 Bar & Bistro is now making new memories for its patrons.
The kitchen is spearheaded by Chef Lazaro Alvarado, who draws inspiration from his Mexican roots and his passion for Italian cuisine. Chef Lazaro’s culinary cred includes such local favorites as Pane E Benne in Westport, Paci in Southport, and Bridge Market in Westport. The restaurant’s New American menu embraces multicultural influences and excites the American palate, and its gastronomic journey changes weekly. Menu highlights are in keeping with the season, product availability, and the Chef’s fancy. Favorites start with globally inspired boards filled with cheeses, meats, pate, and spreads. A fresh, crispy Caesar wedge salad and mussels with spicy sausage steamed in a flavorful broth are just a few of 1920’s delectable appetizers.  Virtual culinary tour highlights include wild boar pappardelle, fruiti di mare risotto, grilled trout, steakhouse cuts of prime beef with homemade sauces, a juicy bistro burger with sharp cheddar and crisp fries, and Chef Alvarado’s already famous lamb osso buco. Desserts are made in-house and run the gamut from tart lemon bars with a shortbread crust to a creamy coffee-laced tiramisu.
Beverage Director Gordon Abraham brings over 20 years of mixology experience to the spirited “Bar” element of 1920 Bar & Bistro. Abraham was most notably shakin’ and stirrin’ up cocktails locally at Shore and County Club in Norwalk and Posa Ristorante & Vineria and Bernard’s in Ridgefield prior to creating the beverage program for 1920. Libations are taken seriously while being poured joyfully. A curated and accessible wine list showcases varietals from around the world. Abraham creates fabulous classics such as the Manhattan and dry martini, as well as seasonal cocktails, as seen with his zesty ginger whiskey sour, smoky apple cider margarita, and toasty Jameson Irish coffee.
Thursday Steak Night (paired with Throw Back Cocktails) - Filet Mignon, Ribeye, or NY Strip, prepared to perfection with sautéed spinach, mac n cheese, or blackened fries.
Happy Hour - Tuesday-Friday, 4-6 PM, food and drink specials at the bar.
2 Wilton Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851
Tuesday-Sunday, 5-11 PM (bar welcomes guests at 4 PM)