NEW BRITAIN - West Side Tavern was shut down last month, a week after its owner began medical treatment for a tumor.
Isaac Silva, 33, of New Britain, was diagnosed in September 2017, but because he was running the restaurant, he decided not to start treatment until the last week of August 2018. While the tumor is not malignant, Silva said, treatment days are exhausting, which is why he decided to make his health a priority and closed the restaurant.
“I was thinking with the treatment I could somehow still go there and do the work,” Silva said. “But it’s between the muscles of my back so I can’t be standing or seating for a long time.”
Silva said the treatment is already half way through. His goal is to finish the treatment in two months.
Silva added that the worse parts of closing his business were giving his employees the news and the relationships he had created with customers who often visited the restaurant.
Silva opened West Side Tavern five years ago with his former husband, Steven Kobenant.
After the couple separated, Silva continued to run the business on his own. When Silva first opened the business it was only a bar.
“Within a year and a half, we saw that there was a need for a restaurant,” Silva said. “It took off very well. People did like the mix of Brazilian-American.”
West Side Tavern was at 586 West Main St. Silva was the only cook and had three employees.
“I feel like I failed some people,” Silva said. I gave up, which is something that I don’t usually do. But I had to make a choice of what’s best for me.”
Silva was also the co-owner of the short-lived Hardware City Café at 2 Main St., KC’s On Main’s current location.
Silva said he is looking to open another business as soon as he regains his health.