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On March 3, co-owners Greg Nobile (left) and Eamon Roche (right) dropped big news about their newest hospitality venture in town, The Friki Tiki, slated to open summer 2018. 

Facebook Photo/Greg Nobile

On March 3, co-owners Greg Nobile (left) and Eamon Roche (right) dropped big news about their newest hospitality venture in town, The Friki Tiki, slated to open summer 2018. Facebook Photo/Greg Nobile )

Island Inspired 'Friki-Tiki' Piano Bar Coming to Branford

Latest Venture from Locally-focused Hospitality Group

Published March 05, 2018 • Last Updated 12:59 p.m., March 05, 2018

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BRANFORD, CT MARCH 3, 2018 -- Residents of the Branford and shoreline area, prepare to get "Friki." The latest addition to the region's burgeoning entertainment and cultural scene has just been announced: The Friki Tiki, a tropical-themed bar and restaurant centered around a piano, raucous singalongs and an inclusive, welcoming, anything-goes spirit.

Slated to open by early summer, in the former home of E. McHenry's Irish Pub at 3 Linden Ave., The Friki Tiki was envisioned as a mix of tiki bar and 1970s Florida Keys resort.

"We want to infuse every inch with that unique sense of being on vacation and feeling totally, and blissfully worry-free," said Greg Nobile, co-owner of The Friki Tiki.

"In the South Pacific, that feeling's known as pono," said Eamon Roche, also a co-owner of The Friki Tiki. "Pono is a feeling of balance and contentment...being in the right place at the right time, when all is right with the world. That's what we all need now...ways to connect with real people, in real moments...not digitally or virtually. And that's exactly how we want our guests at The Friki Tiki to feel as they're sipping on a tropical cocktail and gathered around the piano."

The Friki Tiki is the most recent venture from Nobile and Roche's Flying Horse Hospitality, a Branford-based group with a focus on championing the area's potential as a vibrant cultural destination. In 2016, Flying Horse opened The Stand, a roadside barbecue and farm market that has garnered awards and acclaim from several state and regional publications. The Stand's sous chef, Lauren Richitelli, will oversee The Friki Tiki's tropically inspired bar menu.

"We don't see ourselves as opening venues as much as creating experiences," said Nobile. "Every Flying Horse project is focused first on the kinds of moments it makes to create memorable new gathering spots that strengthen and build a sense of community."

"We're not about one-dimensional destinations," said Roche. "From making sure we use locally sourced food to partnering with neighboring artists and musicians, we want every Flying Horse experience to feel incredibly rich, multi-layered and authentic to the area."

Flying Horse Hospitality is a Branford-based group committed to helping lead the region's revitalization by bringing dining, entertainment, community and culture together in fresh, new and interesting ways. The company was founded in 2018 by Nobile and Roche.


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