UConn’s March Madness is bittersweet for two former restaurant owners

The Bears, who are 4-5 all-time against UConn, will tipoff with the Huskies in the second round...
The Bears, who are 4-5 all-time against UConn, will tipoff with the Huskies in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.(Chad Vautherine)
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:22 PM EDT
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MANSFIELD, Conn. (WFSB) - Two former restaurant owners in Mansfield feel the UConn’s men’s and women’s run through March Madness is bittersweet.

Their restaurant Grammas was a popular place for the Huskies.

Grammas was forced to close in the summer when the restaurant caught fire.

Kelly and Tara Brocuglio were the owners of Grammas, and March Madness brings them on a run down memory lane.

“My moms 93 and she used to go there and the UConn kids loved it, they called her grandma. She came in they all said hit to her and she had a big smile and she thought she was a celebrity, that was one of the real good memories”, said Tara Brocuglio.

“We’d treat them just like any other person and they would come in and they would smile and have a good time laugh and joke, we would ask how they’re games are going and how they’re doing and they would do the same for us”, Tara continued.

They were the little restaurant in town the Huskies chose and that meant something to them.

Grammas was such a popular spot for the Huskies. They even had their own room in the back called the “UConn room”, filled with UConn pictures, autographs, and other memories.

This past summer that room and their entire restaurant turned to rubble as Grammas was forced to close after the fire.

“It’s like losing your family photos, losing a part of you and a part of history, a part of the town, community and UConn, it’s just devastating”, said Brocuglio.

Their UConn family is still strong regardless of their business being gone, and their pride carries on as the Huskies roll through March.

“We feel part of it, we feel part of their journey I mean we got to feed them. (BUTTED) It gives us a feeling of community and happiness knowing they’re achieving their goals and looking toward the future too”, said Brocuglio.

A future that hopefully includes another UConn championship, and a Grammas comeback.

“Gramma’s loves you we’re rooting for you... we got your back hope we can someday make pancakes again for ya”, said Brocuglio.

The owners do have a GoFundMe page to raise money for their recovery efforts to bring back Grammas. It is linked here.