OLD LYME — The luck of the Irish held back the rain for Thursday’s ribbon cutting at The Stumble Inne on Halls Road. The Caramante family, who own the sports bar and grille and its new expansion, were celebrated for their investment in the Old Lyme community with their second food establishment in Old Lyme’s business district.
The ribbon cutting was conducted by the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission (EDC), who have begun the program to bring attention to new business in town.
First Selectman Tim Griswold and EDC Chair Cheryl Poirier both made short remarks as part of the program, each highlighting the contribution owners Jim and Cyndie Caramante make to the community. Griswold noted the many quiet days the Caramante’s stayed open for “take-out service only” at their restaurant, The Hideaway, during the height of the pandemic.
Poirier also noted during her remarks that the day marked both the Caramante’s commitment to Old Lyme, as well as the patrons’ commitment to supporting Old Lyme businesses such as The Stumble Inne. “It’s also a testament to all of you here today, supporting our small businesses.”
The Caramante’s have been Old Lyme business owners almost 20 years since they first purchased The Hideaway from the retiring owner, Carl Lutender. Jim worked for the Lutender’s at The Hideaway a number of years before the ownership transition.
Jim and Cyndie became residents of Old Lyme when their oldest child was just becoming school-aged. “We moved to Old Lyme for the school system, and I started to work for the Lutenders, who were just great people. Now my kids are grown and live here in Old Lyme. We’ve grown roots here. I’ll never leave Old Lyme.”
And when the town went quiet during the long 2020 pandemic shutdown, the Caramante’s experienced the gratitude of the community that they have nurtured here over the years. “Customers were coming in buying thousands of dollars in gift certificates just to show their support,” Jim said. “People would come in just to sit with Cyndie and do puzzles with her while she waited for take-out orders to come in.”
When The Public House closed on Halls Road during the pandemic, the Caramante’s saw it as a chance to create a place for a younger crowd than is represented by their loyal customer base at The Hideaway. They soon opened The Stumble Inne featuring live music on the weekends, karaoke and trivia nights, and now a brand new pool room. “It’s a different vibe from The Hideaway and so there is something for everyone, “ Caramante said.
Caramante added, “Everyone’s been so supportive in town of The Stumble. The first night here was madness — it was packed.”
Following the official remarks of the day, a group of about 30 people including the Caramante’s daughter Kaisea and other extended family and friends moved outside for the official ribbon-cutting with Jim Caramante holding the ceremonial scissors. Cyndi then accepted a certificate of appreciation from the EDC.
“The EDC is committed to supporting our businesses in Old Lyme,” said Poirier. “We’re hoping to continue to highlight new businesses with ribbon-cuttings, and are excited to highlight all of our businesses on our new website ExploreOldLyme.com. We are a group of volunteers, appointed by the Town, and will do our best to support our business community.”
Editor’s Note: For more information about The Stumble Inne, visit https://www.restaurantji.com/ct/old-lyme/the-stumble-inne