Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Vine Wine Room has opened at 190 Main St. in sspace formerly occupied by Luxe Wine Bar, which closed in April. Owner Sammy Alanz and partner Heather Buchheit-Ferrari. Trumbull residents, said this is a soft opening and a grand opening is planned for mid-September. According to Buchheit-Ferrari, the restaurant, which seats 30 inside and 16 on the patio, offers a full bar, appetizers, small plates and plans to add a raw bar. Alanz said menu offerings will expand. Hours are Monday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, August 05, 2016
Thursday, August 04, 2016
By Dave Matlow
A.S Fine Foods of Westport will open in October at 361 Post Road West, according to co-owner Albert Pizzirusso, a Westporter.
The location is in the shopping strip anchored on the east end by People’s United Bank and Kibberia Middle Eastern restaurant on the west.
Pizzirusso, a Westport resident for the past 15 years and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), class of 1992, is co-owner with Erik Cohen.
Pizzirusso said for 10 years following his graduation from CIA he worked at first class eateries in New York including Four Seasons, Rainbow Room and the Ritz Carlton.
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
By Keith M.Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
The state Department of Economic and Community Development has responded with reassurances to a recent news report that Westport’s Bridgewater Associates — to which Connecticut just pledged $52 million in economic assistance — is slowing its hiring.
DECD spokesman Jim Watson said that the hedge fund still must comply with several job retention and creation benchmarks over the next five years, or risk the loss of as much as $17 million.
“All companies in all industries are subject to business fluctuations,” Watson said in a statement. “All experience periods of acceleration and slowdowns in hiring. DECD recognizes that fact and takes a longer-term approach in its agreements with companies.”
The state committed $22 million in bonding on May 27 to help the fund – which manages about $150 billion in assets – expand facilities in Westport, Wilton and Norwalk.
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Bill Taibe and partner Massimo Tullio are planning a new restaurant in Westport’s Old Town Hall, 90 Post Road East. Taibe, who brought Le Farm, The Whelk, and Kawa Ni to Westport, is not certain of the format but, according to ctbites.com, he suggested the new menu might be “a celebration of classic tavern grub and drink.” Opening is projected for sometime late this year. The space was formerly occupied by Spruce Home & Garden. The lower level of the building houses Rothbard Ale + Lager, which describes itself as a “premiere European Gastropub,” offering dishes and drinks inspired by the Central European regions. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 01, 2016
It was a nostalgic visit today to the now shuttered Oscar’s on Main Street for sisters (l-r) Ali Pappageorge, 44, and Melissa, 41, With them was Melissa’s daughter Taylor, 15, an 11th grade student at Fairfield’s Ludlowe High School. Melissa said her father, Lee, Oscar’s owner, is getting stronger every day at Yale-New Haven Hospital where he is battling lung cancer. A real estate sign saying the space is available for lease went up in the front window today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Oscar’s was almost hard to recognize late Sunday night after its Westport Main Street closing earlier in the day after 42 years. A sign on the front door gave a phone number for “any inquiries/vendor questions.” A Facebook posting said: “Our family would like to thank all of our supportive customers. You held us up today, and we want to thank you for that.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, July 29, 2016
Tonight’s announced closing on Monday of Oscar’s Deli marks the end of a 42-year run for the Main Street icon and the last mom and pop store on the street. Owner Lee Papageorge, a nonsmoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer several months ago and is undergoing treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 28, 2016
There is a new name and logo for Westport’s Gault Energy & Stone, Westport’s oldest business. Founded in 1863, the company today unveiled a new name – Gault Family Companies – and said the new “G” logo reflects its rebranded lines of businesses—Energy & Home Solutions, Stone & Landscape Supplies, and Properties & Development. “Our new logo and expanded corporate structure captures our rich history and reveals our ambitious plans for the future,” said Sam Gault, the fifth generation Gault to head the company. Pictured with Gault (c ) are (l-r) Megan Donaher, sales coordinator and sixth generation, Bill Gault, chairman of the board and fourth generation, Meredith Donaher, marketing director and sixth generation, and Jim Donaher, vice president, fifth generation and father of Megan and Meredith. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Ray Dalio, founder of Westport’s Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund and Westport’s largest private employer, today sharply criticized a New York Times story portraying his company, as described by one employee, as a “cauldron of fear and intimidation.”
In a statement issued by his company, Dalio, who turns 67 on Monday, denounced the Wednesday front page story—which included details of an alleged sexual harassment complaint, skinny-dipping during a work retreat, and video surveillance—as an example of “media distortion of reality.” (See WestportNow July 26, 2016)
“To understand the background of this story, you should know that the New York Times reporters never made a serious attempt to understand how we operate. Instead they intentionally strung together a series of misleading ‘facts’ in ways they felt would create the most sensationalistic story,” Dalio said in the statement.
The Times reported on Dalio’s response to its story on its website today.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Westport’s Bridgewater Associates is like a “cauldron of fear and intimidation,” according to an employee of the world’s largest hedge fund quoted by The New York Times.
In a front page story in Wednesday’s edition available online tonight, the newspaper said it had obtained through Freedom of Information requests a 34-year-old employee’s complaint made to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, which it said has not been previously reported.
The complaint describes “an atmosphere of constant surveillance by video and recordings of all meetings — and the presence of patrolling security guards — that silence employees who do not fit the Bridgewater mold,” the Times said.
The employee contends that his male supervisor sexually harassed him for about a year by propositioning him for sex and talking about sex during work trips, according to the report.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Pet Supplies Plus, 1870 Post Road East near the Fairfield town line, has closed. A sign in the window says: “Hey Neigbors: We would like to inform you that our time is up. We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the last 20 years of your loyalty and support.” It said to watch for a new location “coming soon.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Arby’s, Westport’s only drive-up fast food restaurant, is out at 1000 Post Road East and soon will be replaced by Starbucks, which is relocating from nearby 925 Post Road East. Arby’s took over the site in 2006 from Burger King, which had been there since at least 1995. The drive-through capability is especially important for Starbucks, which also has a standalone store a 1 Parker Harding Plaza. Arby’s closed on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Pink Lemon Blue Lime, a baby and child boutique, has opened at the rear of 180 Post Road East, between Bay Street and Imperial Avenue. According to store manager Darcy Callahan, the store originally opened in Darien in April 2013 but recently relocated to Westport. Owner Evelina Rogers, a Fairfield resident, and her husband are the parents of five children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Bedford Square developer David Waldman today took WestportNow and Randy Herbertson, the new president of the Downtown Merchants Association, on a hard hat tour inside and outside of the former Westport Weston YMCA headquarters. He said main tenant Anthropoligie will move in first with completion now scheduled for April of 2017. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and WestportNow.com photos
Sunday, July 10, 2016
The annual three-day Westport Downtown Merchants Association summer sidewalk sale ended today with many merchants marking down merchandise in the final hours. This was the scene outside =Vineyard Vines, 90 Main St. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Sidewalks in Westport’s downtown area were crowded with shoppers today for the second day of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association annual sidewalk sale. It winds up Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Diners enjoy sidewalk dining today at the iconic Westport Main Street restaurant Tavern on Main. According to Dimitri Zervos, owner since 2006, “We’ve had the permit for three years, but this is the first season it’s in operation. We call it the Sidewalk Patio at Tavern on Main.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, July 08, 2016
Among sidewalk sale vendors in Westport’s downtown area today were brother-sister entrepreneurs Roscoe and Tory Brown. Roscoe, entering his junior year at Syracuse where he majors in communications, is a 2014 Staples High School graduate while Tory is class of 2009. Their entrepreneurial business, The Two Oh Three, is described by its co-founders as Connecticut’s local lifestyle brand. They chat with Fairfield University senior Julia Vitte of Orange, who purchased a 203 cap. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
LF Stores, 26 Main St., was a popular attraction for female teens today as the Westport Downtown Merchants Association annual summer sidewalk sale was in full swing. It continues through Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Shoppers go through on sale merchandise today at Vineyard Vines, 90 Main St., as the annual Westport Downtown Merchants Association sidewalk sale got underway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 07, 2016
By James Lomuscio
The attorney for a local developer barely got a few lines out tonight before Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) denied a proposed 1,500-foot sewer line extension.
The sewer line was developer Felix Charney’s needed first step to construct 155 rental housing units on Hiawatha Lane Extension in the Saugatuck section of town.
The reason for the denial by a vote of 5 to 0: nothing had changed since the last denial 18 months ago. The town’s infrastructure is simply unable to handle the additional flow at present, commissioners agreed.
At issue is the failing sewage pipe that runs from Pump No. 2 near the Black Duck restaurant to the town’s sewage treatment plant.
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
A Westport company is among 11 firms that will exhibiting in the Connecticut pavilion of the biennial Farnborough (England) International Airshow July 11-17.
First Aviation Services, with corporate headquarters at 15 Riverside Ave., is part of the pavilion sponsored by the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, an announcement said.
First Aviation, headed by Aaron P. Hollander of Weston, chairman and CEO, is an international leader in logistics, engineering services, and distribution serving the aerospace industry.
The exhibit helps the Connecticut companies “get face-to-face access to customers and potential customers they might not be able to afford on their own,” said a DECD spokesman.
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
By James Lomuscio
What’s at stake, to hear Carolanne Curry tell it, is the future of the last surviving neighborhood of old Saugatuck, the one not lost to 1-95 cutting a swath through this section of Westport in the 1950s.
She describes the neighborhood of Hiawatha Lane Extension, where she lives, and the seven tucked away roads as “the most closely knit neighborhood in the Town of Westport.” They include Ferry Lane West, Indian Hill Road, Davenport Avenue, West End Avenue, Hiawatha Lane and Gillette Circle Drive.
“Everyone knows everyone like they have here for generations,” she says of the single-family home community once considered Westport’s unofficial Italian neighborhood. “We have picnics together. We look out for each other.”
And Thursday night, about two dozen members of Save Our Saugatuck (SOS), a neighborhood group, are expected look out for each other in force at a Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) meeting.
Sunday, July 03, 2016
New York Sports Clubs, 427 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, will close July 31 after 14 years at the location, according to employee Michael Pettway. He said all members are being offered a refund or a transfer of membership to another New York Sports Club with the nearest in Stamford and Greenwich. Pettway, who said the decision to close was a corporate one, has been employed by the club for about one year and was offered a position at the Stamford location. He said there are about 10-11 employees in Westport, which opened in January 2002. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, July 02, 2016
West, a fashion retailer founded this year by Westporter Laura Maged, opens next month at 117 Post Road East, occupied until June by Alex and Ani jewelry store. According to the store’s website, the concept “has been brewing for decades.” It describes the business as “a styled, edited + curated selection of the very best fashion, lifestyle, jewelry, accessories + art that la, the West Coast and (the even further west) Australia, have to offer. Mixing a vibe that is hip + cool and real + easy expect fashion you will love, art gallery openings, special trunk shows, cappuccini, specialty cocktails + occasionally, a dj.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, July 01, 2016
By Keith M.Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
While confirming that state government’s finances have slipped yet again, Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo also said today that a few “bright spots” show Connecticut’s economy might not be done growing.
And while the state entered a new fiscal year today, Lembo certified a $315.8 million deficit in the the outgoing budget — a shortfall that worsened largely because of further slippage in state income and sales tax receipts.
The deficit for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which is $56.7 million worse than projected one month ago, potentially could leave Connecticut with only about $90 million in its emergency reserve – a level equal to about one-half of 1 percent of annual operating costs.
Lembo, who recommends a reserve of 15 percent, will not formally close the books on 2015-16 until the end of September.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
By Keith M.Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
With Connecticut’s new fiscal year set to begin Friday, serious issues — involving both spending and revenue — have arisen in recent weeks that challenge state government’s new spending plan before it’s even begun.
And a major Wall Street credit rating agency questioned Monday whether Connecticut’s fiscal house is in order, If not, the state could face its third consecutive year of deficits.
“With weak tax collections likely to carry over into fiscal 2017, the state has limited flexibility to maintain a balanced budget,” Moody’s Investors Service wrote in its latest Credit Outlook newsletter.
“Budget reductions are especially challenging to achieve in Connecticut, where fixed costs — the sum of pension contributions, retiree health contributions and debt service payments — claimed more than 25 percent of the state’s own-source governmental revenue in fiscal 2014.”