Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaugs Scott Meyer, left, was honored as the recipient of the 2024 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award at the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete Banquet on May 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. (Courtesy of the CIAC)
Nonnewaug’s Meyer Wins Prestigious CIAC Perseverance Award
Gianna Lodice '24, Senior Editor • June 10, 2024
Nonnewaug boys soccer coach Toby Denman, left, and assistant coach Josh Kornblut address the team after a game last season. Denman says hes tried to learn how to be an effective coach by observing the ones hes played for and coached with. (Kyle Brennan)
Crocker: Coaches Can Have a Positive Impact — or a Negative One
Anna Crocker '26, Junior Editor • June 10, 2024
Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
The (Nick)name Game: Teammates Bond Over Inside Jokes
Audrey Doran '27, Reporter • June 10, 2024
Kyle Viveros is ready on his toes, awaiting the ball. Viveros and Landon Parks took home the BL doubles title. (Courtesy of Sophia Cenatiempo)
Nonnewaug Repeats as Class S State Runner-Up in Boys Tennis (PHOTOS)
Addison Bushka '27, Reporter • June 10, 2024
Chief Advocate editor-in-chief Izzy DiNunzio bids farewell after four years in Nonnewaugs journalism program. (Courtesy of Izzy DiNunzio)
DiNunzio: Journalism is More Than Just Words
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-In-Chief • June 10, 2024
Deme Jones looks at students orphan portraits at Nonnewaug’s art show on June 6.
Artists 'Shine' at Nonnewaug's Annual Art Show (PHOTOS)
Brynn Clampett '26, Reporter • June 7, 2024
The memorial for Chester Carruthers. (Courtesy of Find-a-Grave)
The Chief Suspect Podcast: Chester Carruthers
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-in-Chief • June 7, 2024
Nonnewaug girls tennis seniors, from left, Maggie Keane, Skylar Chung, Maylan Hardisty, Kiley Stampp, Sam Duncan pose on their senior night. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
Senior Athletes Feel Mixed Emotions as High School Careers End
Ava Hirleman '27, Reporter • June 7, 2024
Lets Talk Nonne: Year-End Wrap-Up
Let's Talk Nonne: Year-End Wrap-Up
Katie Savulak '26 and Morgan Willis '26 June 7, 2024
Nonnewaug freshmen discuss their worries about the testing, including potential AP exams, they have to take next year.
Savulak: AP Tests Aren't That Stressful
Katie Savulak '26, Reporter • June 6, 2024

Woodbury’s Good News ‘Wasn’t a Restaurant; It Was a Home’

Good News Café, originally opened in 1994, has been a community favorite in Woodbury for 3 decades. The pergola was added during the Covid-19 pandemic so customers could still enjoy the taste of Good News while safety precautions were in place. (Courtesy of Eileen Colangelo)

WOODBURY — Carole Peck’s Good News Restaurant and Bar, a legacy in Woodbury, opened in 1994 by world-renowned chef Carole Peck. 

Peck is a memorable figure in the Woodbury community, supporting local events by often donating food to local causes and giving generously to groups like the Woodbury Volunteer Fire Department. Through Peck’s Good News Ukrainian menu, she raised more than $100,000 for even more global causes like fundraisers to support the war in Ukraine.

Inside of Good News Restaurant and Bar. Carole’s bar-side featured a creative long 3D wall with beautiful pieces of local art. (Courtesy of Eileen Colangelo)

After 30 years of business, Good News closed earlier this spring.

Eileen Colangelo, a longtime manager at Good News, has seen Peck’s impact on Woodbury firsthand. 

“Carole always gave back to Woodbury,” Colangelo said, “with her annual benefits with all proceeds going to local service providers. [Ranging from] her constant participation in business charity events, and many donations of food for events, she always felt it was important to give back.”

What was so special about Good News? Was it just any casual restaurant?

Far from it.

Good News was not a traditional restaurant. Combined with Peck’s revolutionary, delectable, and flavorsome Ukrainian recipes and her creative taste in art, Peck was able to create a unique, colorful, and comfortable environment for customers to enjoy

While most restaurants stick to a modern, calm and comfortable look, Good News was the quite opposite: Peck used bright vibrant colors. 

Instead of a normal soft light gray in the dining room, Good News’ dining room had neon green walls, blue booths, purple plates, and accompanying your meal was a bright owl light by your side. 

On the other side of the restaurant, patrons will remember valuable local paintings hanging on a teal 3D wall which surrounded the 22-seat copper-topped bar. 

What customers will remember is the artistic taste the restaurant had to offer. Customers remarked how they could take a walk outside to the pergola enjoying a dining experience that spilled out to a patio. To the left, a colorful seven-foot bull statue; to the right, a rock patio surrounded by a hypnotizing wall full of mirrors.

The wok shrimp, one of the most ordered dishes at Good News. This was one of the world-renowned chef Carole Peck’s own recipes. According to longtime manager Eileen Colangelo, “It was so good we had to label it ‘always good’ on the menu.” The wok shrimp has been served to customers since the restaurant opened 30 years ago. (Courtesy of Eileen Colangelo)

But if all these vibrant, considerably eccentric experiences made Good News a one-time restaurant, why was Good News always filled with everyday regulars? 

Was it staff ,like the manager, Colangelo, who had the most welcoming, wonderful customer service, or Jon Pacific, longtime bartender-waiter, who always gave customers great service and a great time with his energetic, personable and charismatic personality that kept customers coming?

“The food and atmosphere were always great,” said Good News regular David Rivera, who fell in love with the restaurant in 2008. “The staff made the place special. I hope the new owner knows how valuable the staff is, the bartenders, waiters, and busboys, and the kitchen crew. All of them were the heart and soul of the restaurant. That’s what made it such a good place.”

Perhaps another reason Good News has so many regulars is Peck’s famous menu. For customers, the fare was always memorable, whether it was either the popular lobster mac and  cheese, schnitzel, short rib or her Ukrainian pierogies.

“I think the thing that made Good News so special was that not only was the food consistently amazing, [but] the atmosphere was too,” said Colangelo. “It wasn’t a restaurant; it was a home, a place you could go and be treated like family by not only the staff, but the customers as well. That’s what made our Good News family keep coming back. It was fine dining with a casual, upbeat, silly atmosphere, a place you could just be yourself.”

Colangelo wasn’t the only one out of the dozens of employees at Good News who felt this way.

“It was easy to work at a place where you could always stand behind the food,” said Pacific. “Carole’s culinary vision was second to none.”

The restaurant was not just a comfortable place to observe beautiful art and consume a delicious meal. Some would consider Good News their happy place. It was routine for customers to come in and chat with Pacific at the bar. Customers felt that Good News was a place that belonged. After a long day of hard work, for almost 30 years they could rely on Good News for a consistently good experience to end their day.

Now that Good News has been sold to Michael Hayek, who owns Square One and Craft Kitchen in Danbury, he has been given the task to keep that same Good News aura without Peck. 

In a meeting between Good News staff and Hayek, he informed staff that he will be keeping the same name, staff and keeping customer favorites from the menu, but he will be changing the unique artistic designs that Good News had to give it a more minimalistic, modern look. 

Undoubtedly, the best news of all for the Woodbury community, there is sure to be more Good News to come. 

About the Contributor
Lucas Almeida '24
Lucas Almeida '24, Reporter
Lucas Almeida is a senior at Nonnewaug from Woodbury and a first-year reporter for the Chief Advocate. If he isn't working, he is probably watching football or cleaning a car. He joined journalism to switch up from normal English classes for his last year of high school. He is also a member of DECA and FBLA.
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