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Friday, August 28, 2015



Monday, July 20, 2015

CT Unemployment Rate Lowest Since July 2008

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in June, its lowest point since July 2008, as the state added 600 jobs last month – including 2,600 in the private sector that offset losses in government employment, the state Department of Labor reported today.

The state has added 27,900 jobs across all sectors since June 2014, when the unemployment rate stood at 6.5 percent.

Connecticut now has gained 13,800 jobs through the first six months of 2015. The state has recovered 97,900 positions, or 82.3 percent of the 119,000 jobs lost during the last recession.

“Above-trend private-sector job growth looks to be continuing, while the jobless rate has recently declined significantly,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research.

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Posted 05:01 PM
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Brisk Sweets Business Image
Saugatuck Sweets, 575 Riverside Ave., did a brisk business tonight as the “Sounds of Summer” entertainment outside in Saugatuck Center drew crowds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 08:15 PM
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Waiting to Buy Some Red Barn Nostalgia Image
About 50 persons were on line today at the start of the two-day liquidation sale of contents of the Red Barn Restaurant, which closed last week. Originally, the sale was to include furnishings as well as kitchen equipment but plans changed, according to sale workers, when the buyer of the property—rumored to be the Westport Weston Family YMCA—decided it wanted to retain those items. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:35 AM
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Report: Severe Storm Would Inundate Westport RR Tracks Image
In a special report, today says climate change threatens Connecticut’s vital shoreline rail lines. Among tracks cited as especially vulnerable were those in the Westport-Greens Farms area. The report said “existing track from the Saugatuck River nearly to Fairfield sits low in salt marshes that naturally soak up water from storms and sea level rise, potentially inundating the track.” See report here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) graphic

Posted 07:03 PM
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Comings & Goings: Johnston & Murphy Closes Image
Johnston & Murphy, the upscale shoe and clothing brand, has closed its longtime Westport store at Brooks Corner, 136 Main St. “It closed one week ago,” said an employee at a neighboring retailer. “It was shocking to all of us. it was fast.” A corporate email to Westport customers suggested they shop online or at the store at Stamford Town Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 12:40 PM
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Red Barn Contents Go On Sale Friday & Saturday

Nostalgic about the closing of Westport’s Red Barn Restaurant? On Friday and Saturday you will have a chance to take a piece of the restaurant home to have a permanent memento. Image
Richard (l) and Frank (ChIch) Nistico Jr. in front of the Red Barm full service bar, which opened in March 2014 after a 30-year effort to get town approvals. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Norwalk’s Fairfield County Antique and Design Center announced that it would be holding an estate-liquidation sale for all the contents of the restaurant at 292 Wilton Road from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.each day. See pictures of items here.

“We will be selling all fixtures, kitchen equipment, signs, weathervanes, decorations, etc.,” an announcement said. “All are welcome starting at 8 a.m. on Friday. No early birds. Everything will be priced to sell. Own a piece of history from your favorite restaurant.”

The restaurant, owned by the Nistco family since 1983, closed last week after months of swirling rumors of its demise. (See WestportNow July 11, 2015)

More "Red Barn Contents Go On Sale Friday & Saturday"

Posted 11:07 PM
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The Way We Were: The Red Barn in the 1960s Image
This postcard from the 1960s shows the Red Barn Restaurant, 292 Wilton Road, when it operated under Harry and Dorothy Davega. The Nistico family renovated the building when they bought it in 1983. All the contents will go on sale Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. following the restaurant’s closing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 11:01 PM
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Comings & Goings: Neat Reopens Even Neater Image
Westport’s Neat Coffee and Craft Cocktails, 6 Wilton Road, officially reopens Thursday after closing for one week for a “face lift,” according to owner Rachel Haughey. “We replaced the furniture, fixtures, color scheme and the overall feel that our designers said ‘is like a Botox treatment,’” she said. Manager Sandra Walimaki describes the change as “having a warmer feel that’s both a coffee house and bar at the same time.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 04:17 PM
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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Comings & Goings: Red Barn Restaurant Closes Image
UPDATE The Red Barn Restaurant, a Westport institution for decades at 292 Wilton Road, has closed, according to an announcement on the restraurant’s website by the Nistico family, which operated the landmark next to exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway.  “The Red Barn has officially closed,” the announcement said. “Thank You for your many years of patronage and support!” The announcement followed word from two sources in contact with the family that the restaurant had closed. Rumors have swirled for months that the restaurant was closing and was being purchased by the neighboring Westport Weston Family YMCA, which has not commented on the rumors. A sign on the front door today simply says “closed.” The Nistico family, longtime Westport restaurateurs who for decades had previously owned the Arrow Restaurant in Saugatuck, purchased the Red Barn in 1983. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 04:21 PM
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Red Barn Closing Announcement is Sign on Front Door Image
UPDATE After months of rumors, a sign on the front door today of the Red Barn Restaurant, 292 Wilton Road, made it official—the landmark restaurant operated at exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway by the Nistico family since 1983 is closed. Later, an announcement went up on the restaurant website: “The Red Barn has officially closed. Thank You for your many years of patronage and support!” Its closure follows the end of two other landmark restaurants in recent years—the longtime Saugatuck mainstay Mario’s Place in April (see WestportNow April 4, 2015) and the Three Bears) Restaurant on Newtown Turnpike in 2009. (See WestportNow Feb. 2, 2009)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 04:17 PM
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Maybe, Maybe Not Image
A shopper at Westport’s annual summer sidewalk sale looks over a purse today in front of Shoe-Inn on Main Street as the three-day sale got under way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 03:18 PM
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Crowded Shopping Image
It was close in shopping in front of the LF store, 26 Main St., today as crowds converged on the downtown area for the Westport Downtown Merchants Association annual summer sidewalk sale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 03:13 PM
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Annual Sidewalk Sale Under Way Image
Westport’s much anticipated annual sidewalk sale was under way today along Main Street and Post Road East. The sale continues Saturday and Sunday.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 10:18 AM
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Steam Percolating Amid Money Woes Image
The coffee, bakery and sandwich shop Steam, located at the refurbished stationhouse on the eastbound side of Metro-North’s Westport station in Saugatuck, usually closed on Sundays, was open today to generate community interest amid reported money woes to save the business. According to owner, Briana Pennell (behind counter, smiling), “Today is amazing. This town is so great, the turnout is huge.”  Pennell added, “We had some obstacles when we started out, but we’ve now restructured and I am the sole owner.” She said some changes are being made and “we will relaunch in the next few weeks.”  The business had been closing at 3 p.m., but she said starting Monday, July 6 new hours will be 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. and then open again in the evening 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  Also, starting July 12, it will be open Sundays 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  “We’re adding a few services for customer convenience to make it easier for grab ‘n go customers,” Pennell added. Summer intern Jeremy Mintzer, a Weston High School senior, said Steam has introduced a VIP house card that works like the gift card concept.  He encourages Steam supporters to access where donations to help the business can be made. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 03:01 PM
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Chipolte Mexican Grill Open for Business Image
Chipotle Mexican Grill opened today at 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center in the space previously occupied by Oaxaca Asian cuisine. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. has outlets in Fairfield, Darien, and Greenwich, among other Connecticut locations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:55 PM
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