Artie Praino


Artie Praino grew up in a traditional Italian family in Queens, NY, where cooking and food-filled family gatherings were part of his DNA.

As a teenager, Artie landed his first job at the Corona Park Pork Store, which began a relationship that would last seven years. The owners welcomed him like family, and groomed him on nearly every aspect of the food business.

In 1993, he opened up his own establishment, Bayside Salumeria, an Italian deli in Queens, which quickly became a favorite in the neighborhood. After he and his wife decided to leave Queens to raise their growing family in Newtown, Connecticut, the time was right to identify opportunities closer to home.

In 2001 he sold Bayside Salumeria and opened The Newtown Deli, a popular spot for families and local businesses seeking the best deli sandwiches, superior hot dishes, and excellent catering.

In 2006, he opened The Woodbury Deli (which he sold in 2009). In 2010 he opened The Sideline Café (at The Newtown Youth Academy) and, in 2013, The Sandy Hook Deli.

When an opportunity came to sell the delis in 2015, Artie knew it was time to explore his longtime vision to open a warm and inviting restaurant in New Milford that would feature exceptional drinks and quality food. Artie and his wife are particularly fond of tapas, and the inviting experience of exploring and sharing several different small plates among friends and family.

Artie purchased the perfect spot, 31 Bank Street, in January 2016, and Zaragoza – named after a small, picturesque city in northeastern Spain -- was born. The tapas and craft cocktail dining experience opened its doors in April 2016.

From his first deli in Bayside, to the opening of Zaragoza, Artie's parents Joe and Diana have been a truly collaborative part of the process. Joe, a contractor, designed and built all six structures, and Diana has often been found in the kitchen cooking. "I could have never had this incredible career without their physical and emotional support," Artie says. "I am very lucky!"