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
Freshii Launches Weekend Kids Eat Free Program
Freshii Westport has announced a weekend Freshii Kids Eat Free program, which seeks to promote healthy eating among youngsters. The program for children under 10 begins Saturday and runs until the end of January.
During this time, Freshii, 19 Post Road East, is offering children a free entree from the kid’s menu on Saturdays and Sundays when their meal is accompanied by an adult entrée –- one free kid’s meal per adult entrée.
“We want kids to understand that healthy eating doesn’t mean giving up delicious food,” said Jonathan Blob, owner of Freshii Westport. “We are introducing our kids eat free program because we love seeing kids from Westport and surrounding towns come in and enjoy our fresh, healthy options –- and we want to see even more of them.”
Freshii is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, contact Freshii Westport’s director of operations, Craig Charlton at (203)222-3599, or visit https://www.freshii.com/us/locations/connecticut/westport.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Comings & Goings: Athleta Opens on Main Street
Just in time for the holiday season, Athleta, a division of GAP Inc, has opened at 103-07 Main St. 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) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, November 21, 2014
Comings & Goings: Top Drawer to Close After 37 Years
Top Drawer, a women’s boutique at 1537 Post Road East, is closing. Owner Joan Rotman (above) and manager Mickey Kleefield and their staff have delivered personalized service to Westport customers for more than 37 years. A closing sale is in progress, and Rotman said she plans to be out before the end of the year. “It’s time,” she said, adding that she and her staff will miss their many customers with whom they have developed very close ties over the years. “Thank you for all your loyalty, caring and friendship,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Thursday, November 20, 2014
CT Gains Jobs in October but Unemployment Rate Remains Fixed
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
Connecticut’s jobless rate remained fixed at 6.4 percent in October, despite the addition of about 3,600 new jobs, the state Department of Labor reported today.
The agency’s latest report also downgraded job growth estimates it had released two weeks before Election Day. Back on Oct. 20, labor officials said Connecticut gained 11,500 jobs in September, it’s single-largest monthly gain since April 1994. But Thursday it revised the September gain downward by 1,000 jobs to 10,500.
“Connecticut’s job market continues to steadily add jobs this year at its best pace since the recovery began, and that growth seems to be drawing more people into the labor force,” said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research.
“These numbers are another sign of progress,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today. ” ... We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure Connecticut remains on a path towards an economic revival. By working with the business community on expanding their operations or relocating to our state, we are putting Connecticut on the path to long-term prosperity.”
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Saturday, November 15, 2014
Comings & Goings: Froyoworld Westport Closes
Froyoworld Westport has closed at 361 Post Road West in the shopping center once anchored for many years by the also closed John’s Best. Froyoworld opened in June 2012, one of a wave of frozen yogurt shops that opened about that time. (See WestportNow June 18, 2012) Froyoworld’s closure follows the closing of Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, 113 Post Road East, last June and the more recent closing of Peachwave Yogurt at 170 Post Road West. (See WestportNow June 10, 2014) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, November 14, 2014
It’s official: CT’s Budget is $89M to $100M in the Red
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
UPDATE The state budget received its first official deficit reports today when nonpartisan legislative analysts and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration projected shortfalls ranging from $89 million to just under $100 million.
And while the administration issued the larger of the two deficit forecasts—$99.5 million—budget director Benjamin Barnes, insisted it quickly would be closed, and reasserted Malloy’s insistence that tax hikes are not an option.
“This is consistent with what the administration has been saying,” Barnes said, “that no matter what the projections are, we will manage and administer the budget so that there will be no deficit. It is important to remember that this is a prediction of what would happen now and in the future should we do nothing—and doing nothing is not an option.”
More than half of the deficits projected both by the governor’s staff and by the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis stems from declining revenues, particularly involving receipts from Indian casinos and federal grants.
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport