Friday, October 24, 2014
Comings & Goings: Athleta to Open Before Thanksgiving
Athleta, a division of GAP Inc, opens at 103-07 Main St. before Thanksgiving, according to a worker on site today who said the construction shell covering the front of the store was removed Thursday. The new store was constructed in the spaces previously occupied by Westport Pizzeria, Kate Spade and Francois du Pont Jewelers, which have all relocated elsewhere. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Developer Wants Inn to Become 200-Unit Housing Complex
By James Lomuscio
A developer has submitted plans for five-story, 200-unit housing complex at the site of the Westport Inn on Post Road East. Thirty percent of the units would be deemed affordable.
Under submitted plans, the Westport Inn on Post Road East would be replaced by a 200-unit housing complex. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The submission has raised concerns that use of state statute 8-30g to build it will not only allow the developer to bypass town zoning regulations, but put stress on town services and traffic, all in the name of affordable housing.
Sheldon Stein, who bought the inn seven years ago, submitted applications to the Conservation Commission last week and to the Planning & Zoning Department on Thursday, with maps and engineering reports. The designs choreograph razing of the 127-room hotel at 1595 Post Road East, replacing it with a 200-unit, multi-family residential community dubbed Westport Terrace Views.
The construction would take place through use of state statute 8-30g. Passed in 1989, it allows developers to overstep a municipality’s local zoning laws if that municipality does not have 10 percent of its housing stock classified as affordable, which Westport does not. It is intended to be an incentive to create more affordable housing in the state.
Dunville’s Getting a Fix-Up
Longtime Westport favorite Dunville’s bar and restaurant on Saugatuck Avenue is undergoing renovations and according to the manager on site will reopen for business this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Splash Reopening Delayed
Sign on Splash door. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Splash Restaurant & Bar, which has been closed for two weeks for plumbing and electrical repairs, had been scheduled to reopen Tuesday but was still closed today.
A closed sign still greets customers who stop at the waterfront restaurant located in the Inn at Longshore.
“We still haven’t reopened,” said Teresa De Caro, sister of the owner. “The electrical repairs are taking longer that we expected.”
She did not say when she expects the work to be completed.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Westport Unemployment Drops to Lowest Since 2008
Westport’s unemployment rate in September was 4.5 percent, down from 4.9 percent in August and the lowest in six years, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent was in August 2008, just before the recession began to be felt.
The town’s labor force in September was 12,820, down from 12,955 in August. The number of unemployed in September was 578, down from 631 in August, the department said.
There were 12,242 employed in September, down from 12,324 in August. A year ago in September, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.
Comings & Goings: Le Rouge Chocolates to 190 Main St.
Le Rouge handmade chocolates by Aarti will open at 190 Main St. near Joe’s Pizza,in early November according to Weston-based owner Aarti Khosla ,who also operates an online chocolates business (www.LeRougeByAarti.com.) “The shop specializes in artisan handmade chocolates and cakes without the use of preservatives,” said Khosla. The space was previously occupied by Sport Optix which relocated to 420 Post Road West. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Cocoa Michelle Changes Ownership
After six years at 54 Railroad Place, Cocoa Michelle coffee, bakery and chocolate cafe will change ownership in early November, according to current owner, Michelle Weber. She said, the new owners will be Stamford-based Bonjo Coffee Roasters, coffee distributors for 31 years. “I’m very grateful for the love and support of our loyal customers and the community over the past eight years,” she said. “It will retain the same staff and great offerings.” Cocoa Michelle occupied space on Westport’s Main Street for four years and on Railroad Place for six years, including two overlapping years when it had a presence in both locations. CM Gourmet Market, 580 Riverside Ave., owned by Weber, also closed in June (see WestportNow June 17, 2104) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, October 20, 2014
CT Jobs Report Before Election Shows Big Gains
By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
The last jobs report before Election Day showed today that Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.4 percent, the lowest its been since November 2008 after the start of the recession.
The Labor Department reported that Connecticut rebounded strongly from a weak August, gaining 11,500 jobs in September. The agency also downgraded the August decline from 3,600 jobs lost to 1,200.
The unemployment rate in September reached its lowest point since shortly after Connecticut entered the last recession in November 2008 and September’s numbers represent the single-largest monthly gain April 1994.
“September employment numbers are very encouraging, with strong gains in estimated payroll employment,” Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research, wrote in a statement today.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Comings & Goings: Lights on as Crumbs Readies to Reopen
Lights were on at the shuttered Crumbs cupcakery on Westport’s Taylor Place today as a worker said the bake shop could reopen as early as next week. Crumbs, which had been at the location since April 2009, closed in July as the firm declared bankruptcy. (See WestportNow July 8 ,2014) The Crumbs midtown Manhattan store reopened Tuesday with new treats: double Greek yogurt cakes, banana bread, and nutella crozels, a croissant-pretzel hybrid. Crumbs officials said 16 New York area stores, including Westport, will reopen over the next month. Stores will also reopen in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Monday, October 13, 2014
Comings & Goings: W Salon Moves to 1391 Post Road East
W Hair & Color Salon, after eight years at 1869 Post Road East, has relocated to 1391 Post Road East, next to Balducci’s, in the space previously occupied by Fovama Rugs, which closed in July 2013. Owner Letisha “Tish” Blanckaert said business, which now includes 10 stylists, “has grown so much we had to move for functionality reasons—much bigger space and more parking.” She said the new space has 3,000 square feet compared to 1,800 at her former location. Blanckaert said the public is invited to a grand opening celebration on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Comings & Goings: Rebar Fitness to Saugatuck West Bank
Rebar Engineered Fitness will open next week on Wilton Road in the rear of National Hall, 8 Post Road West. Husband and wife co-owners Danny Clark, 30, and Abby, 29, of Wilton said they relocated from Idaho, where they sold their fitness business earlier this year to be closer to their East Coast families. An accomplished competitive fitness athlete, Danny Clark earned a bronze medal in the 2012 FILA World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in Krakow, Poland. Rebar, not a franchise or chain but a privately owned business, invites the public to an open house introductory event on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Mansion Clam House Closes
The Mansion Clam House, 541 Riverside Ave., is closed. Multiple phone calls to the restaurant are answered with a recording that the mailbox is full and cannot take messages. The sign over the front door is gone and the shades are drawn. The ownership of the iconic restaurant in Westport’s Saugatuck section attracted notoriety in 2012 when a now former owner, Soozie Folsom, pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.3 million from three charitable foundations when working as a financial manager of a Westport-based accounting firm. (See WestportNow Aug. 1. 2013) According to the restaurant website, which makes no mention of it being closed, the restaurant has been there since 1958 on the site of a former “fried clam shack.” The property, which includes the adjoining Julian’s Brick Oven Pizza, changed hands in April for $2.1 million. The listing said the building was built in 1900. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Comings & Goings: New Home for Patio.com
After 25 years at 645 Post Road East, Patio.com, the outdoor furniture and patio accessories store, has relocated to a new retail building at 919 Post Road East at the intersection of Cedar Road and near the Sherwood Diner. The site until 2010 was home to the Cedar Brook Café, said to be the nation’s oldest, continuously operating gay bar, which closed after 71 years. Westporter Phil Ross, co-owner of Patio.com with his older brothers David and Mitch, said he decided to relocate when the new owners of its former location doubled the rent. “Even though our new space, 4,000 square feet, has about 25 percent less square footage than our former location, we are very pleased to remain on Post Road East,” he said. Ross said Patio.com, which first opened in Westport in 1980, has since expanded to 13 locations in Connecticut, New York, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Comings & Goings: Symphony Workplaces Opens
There was a ribbon cutting today for Symphony Workplaces in its new facility at the 55 Greens Farms Road office complex. The company provides business offices with shared common facilities for both short-term and long-term tenants. Joining in the ceremony were (l-r) Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, Weston First Selectwoman Gail Weinstein, Matthew Mandell,Westport/Weston Chamber of Commerce executive director, and Nick Logothetis, Symphony Workplaces owner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Bagel Maven Closes
The Bagel Maven, 538 Post Road East, closed today after owner Alex Perdomo said he was unable to get a new lease. Although the business has been there since 1990, he has been the owner for only the past six years. (See WestportNow Sept. 29, 2014) In a statement, Perdomo said: “Even though I must leave today, I am grateful for the time I had here. The customers have been wonderful to me, they became my friends and it is my hope to stay in Westport if I can find another space soon. God bless everyone. Thank you!” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport