Friday, December 19, 2014
Westport Unemployment Drops to 4.3 Percent
Westport’s unemployment rate in November was 4.3 percent, the lowest in six years, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.
The rate had edged up in October to 4.7 percent after falling to 4.5 percent in September.
The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent was in December 2008, just before the recession began to be felt.
The town’s labor force in November was 12,971, down from 12,922 in October. The number of unemployed in November was 563, down from 609 in October, the department said.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery Closes
Amost eight months after it opened, Grilled Cheese Eatery at 772 Post Road East has closed. According to Wendy Nylen, owner of Picture This, the neighboring frame and women’s accessory shop, the Grilled Cheese Eatery’s equipment and other restaurant contents were loaded onto a truck on Saturday. The owners, Belgian-born Henri and Bulgarian-born Ivanina Donneaux, also closed the Grilled Cheese Eatery at 57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield which opened in October 2013, having converted their Cafe Lola space into the new food concept. (See WestportNow, April 24, 2014) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Java Café Out, SoNo Bakery In
Java Coffee and Café, 44 Church Lane, will close Dec. 31, 11 months after it opened, according to a café employee. Landlord David Adam Realty said SoNo Bakery, a tenant in Norwalk, plans to move in, renovating the interior in January and opening there in February. The coffee house opened in January 2014. While popular with many guests, the café apparently was unable to make it in the competitive environment. (See WestportNow January 21, 2014). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Comings & Goings: Bagel Maven Back in Business
Westport First Selectman JIm Marpe was on hand early today with owner Alex Perdomo as Bagel Maven reopened at 538 Post Road East. It had closed in September after Perdomo said he was unable to come to terms with his landlord on a new lease. Although the business has been there since 1990, Perdomo has been the owner for only the past six years. Customers rallied to support him and the store was renovated prior to today’s reopening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, December 12, 2014
Comings & Goings: Thaeroa Nails & Spa to Post Road East
What used to be International House of Pancakes (IHOP), then Westport Pancake House at 520 Post Road East will now house the Thaeroa Nails and Spa salon. It will open by month’s end in the space that has been vacant for three years, according to owner David Kang. Kang said he has been in the nail salon business for 30 years with locations under different names in Queens and Ryebrook, N.Y. and had been searching for a Westport location for the past year. IHOP occupied the 3,000-square feet space until December 2005 when the name changed to Westport Pancake House and Restaurant, which closed in October 2011. (See WestportNow Oct. 26, 2011) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Comings & Goings: Shade Store Opens on Main St.
The Shade Store, a third generation family operated business since 1946 specializing in custom window treatments, with main office in Port Chester, N.Y., has opened at 115 Main St. in the walkway behind Vince. women’s apparel store. The store is also accessible from Parker Harding Plaza. According to an employee, the business offers more than 800 exclusive window treatment materials in 11 product categories and reaches its market three ways: its 21 showrooms in the country, its website and by phone. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Comings & Goings: Vespa Restaurant to National Hall
The long vacant ground floor space in National Hall, 2A Post Road West, is about to be filled with the debut of Vespa, a 120-seat Italian casual dining restaurant. Executive Chef Brian Reilly (l) and Pasta Chef Laura Bonechi were busy today preparing for the restaurant’s soft opening. No official opening date has been announced. Vespa is the latest venture by New York-based restaurant group Experience Hospitality, headed by owner Bobby Wehane of Westport. The group recently partnered in NEAT Coffee and Craft Cocktails at nearby 6 Wilton Road, where Reilly also worked. Vespa, named after the Italian scooter, will be a return to the past. After the building converted to a 15-room luxury hotel in 1993, there were several restaurants on the ground floor, but they gave way to office space in 2005. Plans for the restaurant were originally announced in July 2013. (See WestportNow July 15, 2013) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Comings & Goings: Chipotle Mexican Grill to Compo Acres
Chipotle Mexican Grill will open at 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center in the space previously occupied by Oaxaca Asian cuisine, according to a spokesperson at New York-based Equity One, the owner and property manager the shopping center. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. has outlets in Fairfield, Darien, and Greenwich, among other Connecticut locations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: SoulCycle to Compo Acres
SoulCycle, a salon for physical fitness spinning, will open at 372 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center sometime in 2015, according to an employee in SoulCycle’s Greenwich salon.The New York-based business, founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, now has 30 salons around the country including 13 in New York City and others in New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester, Massachusetts, California and Washington, D.C. The Westport salon, located between Patriot National Bank and Choice Pet Supply is “months off from opening,” according to a worker for KBE Construction, contractors for New York-based Equity One, owners and property managers of the shopping center. It will open in the space previously occupied by Joseph A. Bank, which has moved to 260 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Comings & Goings: Savoy Rug Gallery Moving
Savoy Rug Gallery, 887 Post Road East, in the Sherwood Connector shopping center, will relocate to a newly renovated facility nearby at 940 Post Road East, across from Starbuck’s, according to owner Nader Daghoghi. The store has been at its present location since 1997. It is moving into space occupied by Bocccanfuso Brothers auto service, which still maintain a presence there. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, November 28, 2014
After 110 Years, Silver of Westport is Closing
By James Lomuscio
On this Black Friday, Stephen Silver quipped “this is the blackest Friday of all of them. ” The 110-year-old, family business, Silver of Westport at 390 Post Road East, will close once the holiday shopping season ends, he said.
Stephen Silver was upbeat after announcing the store’s closing. “I want to go out like a New Orleans funeral—all the bells and whistles,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Silver said the decision to shut the specialty gift and luggage shop was made with his two sons and daughters-in-law at 5 p.m. Thursday following Thanksgiving dinner.
He noted his grandfather, Samuel Silver, started the family business in Bridgeport in 1904, selling canes and umbrellas. In 1951, his father, Philip Silver, opened the Westport shop, growing the business with specialty gifts and luggage in Westport’s Compo Acres Shopping Center.
“We’ve been teetering, talking about closing it for a long time,” he said, adding, “I want to go out like a New Orleans funeral—all the bells and whistles.”
Comings & Goings: Silver of Westport to Close
UPDATE One of the last mom and pop mainstays in Westport, Silver of Westport, is closing. Co-owner Steve Silver (pictured with his co-owner sister, Susan, before they relocated the store in Compo Acres Shopping Center in 2011) said a “retirement sale: sale of the century, nothing excluded” began today. No date has been set for the closing, he said. The family-owned and operated gift and travel necessity business has served Fairfield County since 1904 and has been in Compo Acres since 1951. It and its neighboring retailers lately have been impacted by remodeling of the exterior and reconfiguration of the rear parking lot. “Business had not been good, but the scaffolding covering the storefront for the past eight months was the icing on the cake,” Silver said. He added: “I want to go out like a New Orleans funeral—all the bells and whistles.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Main Street Crowded With ‘Black Friday’ Shoppers
Good Shopping on Main Street
Comings & Goings: Chocolate Shop Opens on Main Street
Westport and Weston First Selectmen Jim Marpe and Gail Weinstein today welcomed Weston resident Aarti Khosia (c) and celebrated the official opening of Khosia’s Le Rouge handmade chocolates on the lower level of 190 Main St. Khosia, whose business is also operated online (www.LeRougeByAarti.com), said the hours are 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. every day except Monday and “will extend hours as we get closer to the holidays.” She added, “We’re a cafe as well and serve a range of flavored coffee selections.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport