In the press —
Connecticut Magazine’s Readers Choice 2019, December 26, 2018
Once again we’ve asked you, our readers, to tell us your favorite places to eat and drink — and once again you responded in force. Now the ballots have been counted, and we’re pleased to present the winners of Connecticut Magazine’s 40th Readers’ Choice Awards. In the pages ahead are the statewide and county results from our most recent poll, covering more than 70 restaurant and food categories. It’s our biggest, most extensive Readers’ Choice ever — dig in!
Awards: Best Overall Chef - Dave Pottie, Best Overall Excellence - New London County, Best American, Best Outdoor Dinning, Best Fine Dinning, Best Cafe
The Day's dining reviewers look back on 2017, Local Flavor Award, December 28, 2017
Not only is the food at M BAR in Mystic terrific, but the entire enterprise is an exercise in creativity. What was once a gas station is now a bustling coffee shop/wine bar/dinner destination staffed by on of the friendliest crews I've encountered this year. Plus, the wine bar is stocked with the fruits of several local wineries. - Marisa Nadolny
M/BAR, Mystic's Newest Wine Bar, Housed in a Newly Restored Gas Station / September 2016
"Mystic is a seaside town known for its quaint shops, its seaport, and — for better or for worse — its pizza. Its restaurants range from plentiful snack shacks, where clam chowder and lobster rolls are easier to come by than parking spots, to both casual and refined American cuisine.
Newest on the recently expanding culinary scene in Mystic is M/BAR, the brainchild of Merrily and Michael Connery. It is both a wine bar and a restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and charcuterie boards, as well as small plates in the evening..." Read More.
M/BAR a Gas Station Turned Wine Bar / September 2016
"Few people would look at an empty vintage gas station and see potential for a stylish wine bar. But fewer still may have looked at the site of a dormant airplane hangar and envisioned it reborn as a coastal vineyard and event space. Michael and Merrily Connery have done both.
The couple behind Stonington's Saltwater Farm Vineyard have branched out to restaurant ownership, opening Mystic's M/BAR, an upscale cafe with small plates and an extensive wine list. Its location in a former service station is unlikely, but the Connerys are no strangers to complete transformations..." Read More.
Refurbishing vintage properties into new businesses / June 2016
STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — They were outdated, underutilized vintage properties in Connecticut and now they have come back to life.
A farm that dates back to the 1600s, which was also the site of a 1940s era airplane hanger, has become Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington. A 1950s gas station near downtown Mystic is about to open as a coffee and wine bar restaurant called MBar. Both are owned by Michael and Merrily Connery, who had a deep love for Connecticut... " Read More.
Sophisticated touch in industrial space / July 2016
MYSTIC — Merrily and Michael Connery make an unstoppable team. The power couple has a knack for looking at an old, vacant building, seeing beyond the rust and rubble and converting it into something stunning.
First, they took a World War II-era airplane hangar on Elm Street and turned it into a tasting room at their winery, Saltwater Farm Vineyard, and now the power couple has reimagined a 1950s gas station just outside of downtown Mystic and has transformed it into a sophisticated café and bar.
If the new establishment, M/Bar, is anything like their vineyard, it’ll soon be busting at the seams with guests... " Read More.
From gas station to wine bar / March 2015
When I first heard of plans to convert a Mystic gas station into a wine bar, I thought of the 1982 Steven Spielberg movie "Poltergeist."
Toward the finale of the movie, some may remember, we learn that the house that was so horrifically haunted was built on a cemetery, and they didn't move the bodies.
Oh no, I thought, while reading about plans for the gas station. They are going to build a wine bar there without removing the gas tanks.
Indeed, the application for zoning approval specifically states the café tables are going to be in the old garage bays and the canopy over the island where the gas pumps used to stand would remain in place.
Eating and drinking in a former gas and oil dispensary seemed scary... " Read More.
Saltwater Farm Vineyard —
Owners Michael and Merrily Connery were eager to bring their second restoration, the gas station, back to life, the first being Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, CT. Vineyard wines will be featured on the M/BAR wine list, but you can visit the vintage airplane hanger for a full tasting or to explore the grounds.