Tutti Ristorante, 599 Riverside Ave., was among Westport restaurants open today and awaiting customers. Maria Funicello, co-owner with her chef husband Pasquale, said, “We opened at 4 o’clock, but we don’t have a single reservation for tonight and the phone has not rung even once. I don’t think anyone knows we’re open, but we plan to stay until our usual closing time at 9 p.m.” Their phone is (203)221-0262. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Guests at tonight’s Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce monthly Business After Hours networking reception heard details of the annual Special Olympics Penguin Plunge at Compo Beach on Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m. Registration begins at 11 a.m., according to Lisa Carole of the Special Olympics, who attended the event at the Symphony Space office complex, 55 Greens Farms Road. Register to plunge, or support a participant or team at http://www.soct.org. To join in the fun, participants must be at least 8 years old and need to raise a minimum of $100. In addition to awards for top fundraisers and best costume, participants receive incentive prizes for their fundraising efforts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westporters beginning this spring will be able to dine overlooking Long Island Sound in space formerly occupied by Splash Restaurant at the Inn at Longshore Club Park.
First Selectman Jim Marpe and Rory Tagert, who has leased the Inn at Longshore, a the town-owned facility, for more than 30 years, announced today they have signed a letter of intent to identify and secure a new restaurant to replace Splash, which closed last October after 19 years. (See WestportNow Oct. 31, 2014)
“It is imperative that a first class restaurant for all Westporters is in operation for the spring and summer 2015 seasons,” Marpe said in a statement. “The restaurant must also include services for golfers.”
Marpe noted that a long-term sublease with a restaurant operator would be subject to the town’s terms, conditions, and approval.
There is a “retirement sale” banner in the window of The Textile Stores, 415 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, which has announced it is closing in February. But for the moment, it is still going strong after 75 years in business, 55 at its current location. Customers keep coming to buy and say “thank you” to owners Marty Yanell (above) and his daughter, Lori Yanell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
After 75 years in business, 55 at its current Westport location, The Textile Stores, 415 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, will close at the end of February, according to Lori Yanell (above), daughter of owner Marty Yanell. She is the granddaughter of founder Samuel Unofsky who, she said, started the business in South Norwalk in 1940. Yanell said, “We’re following in the path of Silver’s—the rents have gone just too high.” Describing how long she has been associated with the business she said, “I was practically born in the back of the store.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
After 45 years in business, Jewelry by Sara Kennedy Cellar Workshop at 44 Railroad Place will close Jan. 14. Kennedy, who began her business on Avery Place in 1969 and has been in Saugatuck since 2006, said she will retire to Tucson, Ariz, where she has purchased a home after going there for 47 years. She recalled she moved to Westport when was in seventh grade, two years after her father purchased Compo Acres Pharmacy. “I want to tour the country,” she said. “I want to explore, to paint, to sculpt, to enjoy a physical freedom.” As for leaving Westport, she said: “I value my many relationships in Westport. I even have customers from the same family for three generations.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Steve Silver, co-owner of Silver of Westport, gives a wave today as the store began a 50 percent off sale to reduce inventory prior to its shutting down. Silver announced in November that the 110-year-old family business at 390 Post Road East will close once the inventory is gone. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
It’s the last day for Positano Ristorante at Westport’s Old Mill Beach. Closing after tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebration, the restaurant will reopen early in the year adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse in space formerly occupied by the Dressing Room. Manager Gianni Rizzi said Positano, owned by Westchester County resident Giuseppe Scarpati, occupied its current space for 15 years and was on Post Road East, where Tengda is now, for two years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
UPDATE After a five-year run, Cake Suite, 47 Saugatuck Ave., near Dunville’s Restaurant, has closed. Owner Michelle Klem of Fairfield said today it closed on Dec. 20 and “had nothing to do with the economy or anything like that. All was going well. But I needed to change my lifestyle.” She said she needed to devote more time to her 12-year-old son. But she said she will continue to work with wholesale customers and area caterers, teach baking classes, and is researching a book on operating a bake shop. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
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.
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
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
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
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
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