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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Acqua Seeks Pop-Up Dining for Third Summer

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The Westport Board of Selectmen on Wednesday will hear an application for a return of pop-up dining at Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo overlooking the Saugatuck River and the Parker-Harding Plaza area. It will be the third year for outdoor dining for the restaurant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 03:47 PM
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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Staples Grads Getting Down to Business

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Three 2009 Staples High School graduates are celebrating the launch of their new product Nootelligence Focus—a 2-ounce “focus-enhancing shot” made from nootropics, which they describe as natural cognitive enhancers. They say they are a class of supplements, including amino acids, antioxidants and other nutrients, that can enhance mental functions such as memory and learning. The three Westporters behind Nootelligence Focus are Ian O’Connel (Boston University ‘13) (l), Jeff Moss (New York University ‘13) (r),and Parker Kligerman. the 23-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and Staples graduate. Nootelligence Focus is available online at www.nootelligence.com as well as more than a dozen stores in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:36 AM
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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Westport February Unemployment Falls to 4.7 Percent

Westport’s unemployment rate in February was 4.7 percent down from 4.9 percent in January, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.

The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was lower was in August 2008 when it was 4.5 percent, just before the recession began to be felt. The rate hit 7.0 percent in June 2009.

The department said the number of Westport unemployed in February was 583, down from 613 in January. The February labor force in Westport numbered 12,366, down from 12,423 in January. There were 11,783 employed in February, down from 11,810 in November.

A year ago in February, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

Posted 03:06 PM
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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Banging the Closing Gavel at the NYSE—Again

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A little more than three months after she gaveled a New York Stock Exchange session to a close (See WestportNow Dec. 26, 2013), Westporter Johanna Rossi (wielding gavel) did it again today. She was with SmileTrain CEO Susannah Schaefer and staff and supporters in anticipation of the organization’s one millionth cleft repair surgery in 15 years. Rossi, s senior trader at Alden Global Capital, has been an active volunteer for many years with the New York-based charity. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 06:51 PM
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Comings & Goings: Francis du Pont Jewelers Opens in New Home

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Francois du Pont Jewelers opened at 6 Sconset Square today after almost 32 years on Main Street. Owner Noel du Pont said of his new 800-square foot location, “I’m ecstatic. It’s a new home and it’s mine.” The jewelry store and neighboring Westport Pizzeria moved from Main Street to make way for Athleta, a division of GAP Inc., which is also taking the space formerly occupied by Kate Spade located on the other side of the former Francois du Pont Jewelers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:29 PM
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Comings & Goings: Sperry Top-Sider Opens on Main St.

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Sperry Top-Sider, a shoes and casual apparel store, opened at 56 Main St. in space formerly occupied by BCBGMAXAZRIA that closed abruptly last month (see WestportNow, Feb. 8, 2014).  According to Sperry store manager, David Meyer (above), the Westport outlet is the only one in the state that is standalone. Founded in 1935 in eastern Connecticut, Sperry now has 50 standalone U.S. stores, according to Meyer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:23 AM
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comings & Goings: Opening Set for Sconset Sq. Dog Groomer

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Snip Doggy Dog, an upscale grooming salon for dogs, will open within two weeks at 9 Sconset Square, near Christ &  Holy Trinity Church, according to Frank Ciambrielli, managing director. He said the Westport location will be its third with the others in Old Greenwich and Fairfield. He said the 1,000-square foot salon offers four groomers and a dog boutique. (See WestportNow Sept. 19, 2013) “The personalization of the salon features glass walls so our clients can view the grooming process,” he said. The space was previously occupied by Cursive, a New York-based retailer of fine paper, jewelry and home and personal accessories. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:56 PM
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Stepping Up to the Bar, Finally, at Red Barn

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It took more than 30 years, but it was step up to the bar time, finally, at Westport’s Red Barn restaurant today. Final approval came earlier in the day in the Town of Westport’s regulatory process for the first full service bar in the iconic restaurant’s history. The process began with Planning and Zoning approval in December. (See WestportNow Dec. 20, 2013) The Nistico family, longtime Westport restaurateurs who for decades had previously owned the Arrow Restaurant in Saugatuck, purchased the Red Barn in 1983. Pictured are Richard (l) and Frank (ChIch) Nistico Jr. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:40 PM
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Comings & Goings: Whelk and LeFarm Owners Go Asian

By Dave Matlow

A new Asian cafe, yet to be named, will open in Westport’s Bridge Square in a few months, according to well known restaurateurs Bill Taibe and Massimo Tullio, principals of Westport’s LeFarm and The Whelk.

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Bill Taibe (l) and Massimo Tullio, principals of Westport’s LeFarm and The Whelk, outside of the location of their new Asian eatery in Bridge Square. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Taibe said the new eatery in the former location of Asian 88 Bistro, which closed last summer after a year in the old Peter’s Bridge Market space, will be among the first Izakaya-type restaurants in the area.

An Izakaya restaurant is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. “It’s going to be the least authentic Japanese restaurant around,” Taibe said. “I’m serious—not a teriyaki place.” 

Taibe, who opened The Whelk in nearby Saugatuck Center in January 2012 and LeFarm in Colonial Green in October 2009, said he just returned from a 12-day trip to Japan during which he researched the latest nuances in the Izakaya tradition.

More "Comings & Goings: Whelk and LeFarm Owners Go Asian"

Posted 08:15 PM
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Downtown Committee Moves to Phase II

By James Lomuscio

With its Phase I, town wide, baseline traffic and parking study completed, Westport’s Downtown Steering Committee (DSC) met today to kick off Phase II focusing on infrastructure and aesthetic improvements in the wake of current and planned development downtown.

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Dewey Loselle (l), chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, said the emphasis today was about getting community involvement, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“We have a lot of opportunities to build on something that’s good and to make it great,” said Dewey Loselle, chairman of the 14-member DSC.

In addition to committee members, present at the meeting were Mark Keener and Victor Minerva, planners for the RBA Group, the Norwalk-based consultant hired by the town to come up with a master plan of development for the downtown. RBA was engaged by the Downtown 2020 Committee, the DSC’s predecessor advisory group formed by the previous town administration.

Loselle said results of RBA’s traffic and parking study will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at its April 10 meeting. Phase II should be completed by late summer he said.

More "Downtown Committee Moves to Phase II"

Posted 08:20 PM
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Another Sign of Spring: Joey’s Opens at Compo Beach

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A sure sign that spring is here is the opening of Joey’s By The Shore at Westport’s Compo Beach. Joey’s was open today for the first time this season.  An employee said, “We’ll be open tomorrow and next weekend too if the weather is okay.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:54 PM
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

P&Z Visits Proposed PRE Site for Hair Salon

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UPDATE Members of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) today visited 1385 Post Road East, which includes Anthropologie, Balducci’s, and the former home of Fovama Rugs. Representatives of the owners, Darien-based Forstone Capital, who were also on the visit, have applied for modifications to the property, where they plan to install a hair salon in the former Fovama Rugs location. The application will require a review of a 1995 settlement between the P&Z and Arnie Kaye, the property owner at the time, according to P&Z Director Larry Bradley (r). He said the review of the settlement is not directly related to plans for the hair salon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:14 PM
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Comings & Goings: Koko FitClub Closing

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KoKo FitClub, 619 Post Road East, will close March 31 after a year and a half at that location, according to franchisee Peter Buckley. (See WestportNow, Sept. 20, 2012)  Buckley, a former banker, said, “We were not able to attract enough members and were operating in the red every month.” Expressing thoughts on his brief experience in Westport, he said, “We needed deeper roots in the community. We couldn’t crack the code of being compared to gyms rather than who we are—a personal training studio.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:43 PM
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Comings & Goings: Lou & Grey to Main Street

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Lou & Grey, a specialty line of women’s apparel, opens on Friday at 15 Main St., next door to Loft, 17 Main St., according to spokesperson Kate McShane of its parent company, LOFT, Ann Inc. Shane said the Westport location for Lou & Grey is “our first concept store in the U.S. and is much more than just a store: it’s a library, a workshop and a test kitchen.”  She said the Lou & Grey lounge collection is “offered in LOFT’s 540 stores and we are testing free-standing stores in the future.”  She added, “These clothes are for the woman on the go who never wants to have to choose between style and comfort.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:18 PM
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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Westport Snack Food Company Makes National Debut

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Executives of Nothin’ But, a Westport-based snack company, are in Anaheim, Calif. for Natural Products EXPO West, the leading tradeshow for natural and organic products on the West Coast. It is their company’s national debut with their cookies and granola bars. Founder Jerri Graham (l) and CEO Steven Laitmon (c) offer up samples to attendees. Nothin’ But products are available in many Westport area stores, from Stew Leonard’s, to Terrain, to Aux Delices and Cocoa Michelle. They are also available in select New York locations and online at www.nothinbutfoods.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 12:40 PM
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