Monday, May 20, 2013
Comings & Goings: Steam to Green’s Farms Station
A new coffee, bakery and sandwich shop, Steam, will open at the Green’s Farms Metro-North station by late June, according to co-owners Briana Pennell and Chris Barrett. They were awarded the right to use the site in a Town of Westport competitive bid process. Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas was at the station today with the couple. “Renovations began about one week ago, and the new business should be operational sometime in mid to late June,” he said. Norwalk resident Pennell, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, is a pastry chef. Barrett, a Stamford resident, has a background in the restaurant business. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 17, 2013
Comings & Goings: Westport Auction to Saugatuck P.O.
Westport Auction, 615 Riverside Ave., , specializing in estate consignments, has opened at the site of the former Saugatuck Post Office. It will conduct its first live auction Sunday at 1 p.m., according to Travis Worrell, owner of the business with his wife, Kate. “We’ve been conducting one-time auctions in various locations for the past five years and decided to open this 3,400-square feet permanent location which is close to the train station and is easy access for New York customers,” Travis Worrell said. He said the estimated 425 items and groupings to be auctioned range in value from $100 to $100,000 and are comprised of mid-century furniture, fine arts, jewelry, Chinese antiques and other merchandise. “We focus on the unusual, he said. For more information, phone (203)222-3448. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Comings & Goings: La Boutique Debuts on Post Road East
La Boutique, a women’s accessories store, has opened at 719 Post Road East in a space adjoining Effi’s Salon, according to owners Suzanne and Fred England. The Englands, owners of Beadz, 1094 Post Road, Darien for the past seven years, said the Westport store is a natural expansion of their business. “I’ve lived in this area for 28 years,” said Suzanne England. “I love Westport. It’s an artsy town. When i think of shopping, I think of Westport. It’s an eclectic group.” Fred England said the accessories are handmade in the Darien location, and that includes custom offerings as well. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: The Avenue Out, Alex and Ani In
After 15 years, The Avenue Gallery, specializing in framing antique maps and nature prints, has relocated from 117 Post Road East to Norwalk’s 173 Main St., in the former Brandman Paint distribution center. In an email to WestportNow, owner Diana Wyant said, “It was hard leaving Westport, but my clients were having issues with the lack of parking.” She said she retains the same phone number, (203) 227-5062. Signs in the window say the space will be taken over by Alex and Ani, a jeweler described on its website as offering “eco-friendly, positive energy products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Board of Selectmen Okays Two New Pop-Ups
The Westport Board of Selectmen today approved two new pop-up dining applications for the downtown area—Bobby Q’s on Main Street and the new Cru restaurant opening in the basement of 125 Main St. with its entrance on Parker Harding Plaza. Bob LaRose, owner of Bobby Q’s said he hoped to be up and running for the May 23 Art About Town street party sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. Pictured is Bobby Q’s temporary outdoor dining facility erected during the 2011 Art About Town event. The new Bobby Q’s pop-up will be narrower—since there will traffic flowing—and take up two parking spaces. Cru co-owner Steve Prokop said he is aiming for a June opening with the pop-up to debut on Parker Harding Plaza soon after. Currently, Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo on Parker Harding Plaza and La Villa Trattoria restaurant on Bay Street have pop-up cafe approvals downtown. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Comings & Goings: Chico’s to Reopen on Main St.
The women’s apparel and accessories store Chico’s will reopen Thursday at 61 Main St, according to an employee. It has been closed since Storm Sandy last October—the last Main Street holdout from storm damage. Chico’s was also closed due to the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene in late August 2011, reopening in November 2011. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Comings & Goings: Sunglass Hut Reopens on Main Street
Westport’s Sunglass Hut, 74 Main St. closed since Storm Sandy last October, reopened today. The business also operates in other Fairfield County locations including Greenwich, Stamford, Danbury and Trumbull. Today’s opening leaves Chico’s as the last Storm Sandy Main Street victim. It is expected to reopen next week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Akram Closes at Sconset Square
Akram men’s and women’s apparel store at 9 Sconset Square across from the Christ & Holy Trinity Church has closed after a year. (See WestportNow May 11, 2012). Co-owners Akram Enany and his wife Seham Ibrahim previously owned the 4@1 store at 141 Post Road East. The Sconset Square space was formerly occupied by Green Earth Design. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Moody’s Rates Westport’s Newest Bond Issue Triple-A
Moody’s Investors Service said today it had assigned a triple-A (Aaa) rating and stable outlook to the Town of Westport’s planned $29.3 million general obligations refunding bond issue and affirmed the top rating to its $106 million in long-term general obligations debt.
It said the bonds, with an expected sale date of May 14, are secured by the town’s unlimited general obligation tax pledge and will be used to refund the town’s series 2003 bonds for an estimated net present value savings of $3.6 million, or 12 percent of refunded principal.
This was the second Moody’s Triple A affirmation for the town in this low interest environment in less than five months. In January, Moody’s gave the same rating to a 20-year $6.99 million general obligations bond issue that went off at 1.9 percent. (See WestportNow Jan. 24, 2013)
The agency said the highest quality long-term rating reflects “Westport’s sizable tax base with extremely high wealth and income indices, and a manageable debt position.”
Comings & Goings: Fast Stop Closes
The Fast Stop convenience store at 20 Saugatuck Ave. abrutptly closed on Tuesday. A short time later, the U.S. Postal Service issued an announcement saying its Contract Postal Unit within Fast Stop was closed. There was no official reason given for the closure. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Monday, May 06, 2013
Comings & Goings: Cru Restaurant to 125 Main St.
Work is underway to prepare for the opening in a few weeks of Cru, a new Westport restaurant in the lower level of 125 Main St., home of Gap stores, with its main entrance at Parker-Harding Plaza. Co-owner Todd Rose said the restaurant will serve a variety of globally inspired entrees and small plates of western and Asian cuisine. He said plans are to seat around 100, a combination of traditional table height and cocktail-level seating with a large bar that features artisanal cocktails. Rose and his business partner, Steve Prokop, are the co-owners of Cuvee, an upscale restaurant in West Hartford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Kidville to Post Road East
Kidville, dedicated to children’s activities, will open in late August at 1568 Post Road East, the former location of Goodwill Industries, according to owner Valerie Gutman. Gutman, the “mayor” of Kidville according to Kidville vernacular, said the store will offer a children’s boutique shop, birthday parties, classes for newborn to 6-year-olds in music, dance, art and pre-school enrichment, a gym and KVU—Kidville University classes. Gutman said she initially became aware of Kidville when she and her husband Rob lived in New York. “We enrolled 3-year-old daughter, Blake, in the Upper East Side Kidville’s ballet and music classes,” she said. “My husband, Rob, and I were so pleased that when we moved to Westport last June we decided to open a Kidville here.” Gutman said Kidville, a New York-based franchise, now has a 25 locations in the United States, plus additional franchises in Canada, Egypt, India, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Comings & Goings: Blu Parrot Closes After Seven Months
The Blu Parrot, a restaurant featuring food and music at 60 Charles St., has abruptly closed after a seven-month run, according to an associate of Adam Lubarsky, co-owner of the restaurant that opened last October. A note on the door expressed thanks to customers, friends, and those in the music community for their support. A Blu Parrot email today said: “To all of our friends, customers and muscians who have supported us here at The Blu Parrot: we will be closing our doors as of 5/1/13. There are parties that are interested in buying the business and we can only hope that they will continue to bring the best in live music to the Westport area. Thank you for all of your support and making this such a great place.” Lubarsky said today he was not in a mood to talk about the closing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport March Unemployment Rate at 6.1%
Westport’s unemployment rate in March was 6.1 percent, up from 5.8 percent in February, the Connecticut Department of Labor said.
The department said the number of Westport unemployed in March was 749, up from 701 in February.
The March labor force in Westport numbered 12,347, up from 12,106 in February.
There were 11,498 employed in March, up from 11,405 employed in February, the department said. A year ago in March, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
What a Deal: Empire State and Westport Pizzeria
UPDATE A New York judge today cleared the way for a public offering of shares in the Empire State Building and properties on Westport’s Main Street, including Westport Pizzeria.
Westport Pizzeria, two adjacent retail stores, and three others on Westport’s Main Street would be rolled into the Empire State Building offering. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
New York Supreme Court Justice O. Peter Sherwood denied a motion by opposing shareholders to declare illegal a plan that would allow Malkin Holdings, controlled by the Malkin family of Greenwich, to roll the properties into a real estate investment trust.
The Westport properties include 66-99 Main St., current home to Nike Running, Allen Edmonds, and Theory, and 103 (former home of Kate Spade, now empty), 105 (Francois du Pont Jewelers), and 107 (Westport Pizzeria) Main St.
Under the plan, the Empire State Building—owned by Empire State Building Associates LLC, an entity controlled by Malkin—would join at least 20 other properties in the REIT called Empire State Realty Trust Inc. and launch an initial public stock offering. The IPO could bring $1 billion, according to financial advisers.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport