Thursday, June 25, 2009
Moody’s Affirms Westport’s Triple-A Rating
UPDATE Moody’s Investor Service has affirmed Westport’s triple-A rating, First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff announced today.
The rating service assigned its highest Aaa rating to the town’s $12.5 million General Obligation Bonds, Issue of 2009. It also affirmed the Aaa rating on the town’s parity debt, Joseloff said.
Proceeds from the bond sale will finance various school, sewer and municipal improvements. The bonds, maturing from 2010 to 2029, sold at an average interest rate of 3.56 percent. PNC Capital Markets won the bidding for the offering.
“We are very pleased with the rating review,” Joseloff said. “Despite these difficult economic times, it shows that Westport’s finances are in good shape.”
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Comings and Goings: Artisan Kitchens to Open
Another entrepreneur has chosen Westport to open a business. According to owner John Minnock of Newtown, Artisan Kitchens and Countertops will open at 1252 Post Road East (next to Greens Farms Spirits Shop) around the first week of August. “Now is the time to get a good deal on leases” he said. The proud father of two children, Minnock said the business will be family operated which includes his wife Gail who will do the bookkeeping and son-in-law Steve. Minnock, who operated his business for two years at 941 Danbury Ave. in Wilton, chose to move to Westport because he said most of his clients live here and to take advantage of more favorable leasing arrangements. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westporter Says State Found No Evidence of Customer Abuse
The Westporter who heads a Stamford-based energy company which has agreed to refund $2.1 million in credits and cash for overcharging customers last summer said today the state found no evidence of intentional customer abuse.
Jeffrey Mayer “Customers were compensated for any mistakes.” Dave Matlow/WN file photo
“After an investigation of our retail electricity business, the state bodies made no finding of intentional customer protection abuse,” said MXenergy CEO Jeffrey Mayer in a statement. Mayer is the Democratic chair of Westport’s Board of Finance.
“In fact, they confirmed what we ourselves discovered after an internal investigation,” he said. “We have taken several steps to make sure that all customers were compensated for any mistakes we may have made.”
The Department of Utility Control (DPUC) began its investigation in August 2008, and was joined by the Office of the Attorney General and Office of Consumer Counsel.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Comings and Goings: Conte’s Opens at Westport Inn
Conte’s Restaurant, formerly at 540 Riverside Ave. (see WestportNow March 26, 2009 and April 11, 2009) has opened for business at the Westport Inn, 1595 Post Road East. The restaurant will be open six days a week, closed Mondays. It will serve a Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; lunch Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner Tuesday-Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. After 11 p.m., there will be a bar menu. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Comings and Goings: Five Guys Burgers and Fries
UPDATE The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night approved a request for a permit and site plan for Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a fast food chain to be located at 538 Post Road East, previously occupied by Totally Kool women’s apparel. The Five Guys chain was founded in Arlington, Va. in 1986 and has expanded to 450 locations in 25 states. The Westport site, which the company hopes to open by Nov. 1, would be its eighth location in Connecticut. The others are in Newtown, Orange, Brookfield, New Haven. Avon, Wethersfield, and Mystic. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Comings and Goings: Sunny Daes Ice Cream to Open
Fuel oil tanks were removed today at Westport’s 30 Riverside Ave. where Sunny Daes Ice Cream will open in about two months, according to Peter Wiehl, a principal of Pepper Partners, LLC of Trumbull, landlord of the property. Wiehl said this will be the fifth location for Sunny Daes which is owned by Sergio Keskin of Trumbull who also operates two shops in Fairfield and one each in Trumbull and Stamford. WestportNow first reported on the ice cream chain’s arrival in February. (See WestportNow Feb. 18, 2009) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Comings and Goings: DeRosa’s Restaurant Closes
After 30 years at its location at 577 Riverside Ave., DeRosa’s Restaurant has closed. The restaurant and nearby buildings—including Westport Florists and the Riverside Barber Shop—are included in a demolition application now under review by town departments. (See WestportNow Teardown of the Day April 10, 2009) The properties are part of the Saugatuck Center development that includes retail and residences. Patrick Vigilio, owner of the Riverside Barber shop, said he is looking for another spot since he has been asked to leave the shop’s home for 87 years by the end of September or early October. An application to demolish 570 Riverside Ave., home of Doc’s Cafe, and 580 Riverside Ave.,were filed earlier as part of the project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Comings and Goings: Danskin, Women’s Wear Outlet, Closes
Danskin, a women’s active wear and dance wear apparel outlet store at 275 Post Road East in Westport’s Playhouse Square shopping center, has closed after seven years at the location. The closure put five employees out of work.The only other Danskin store in Connecticut—in Westbrook—closed two weeks ago. An employee said of the original 20 Danskin outlet stores, only four remain – one each in New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Nevada. Owned by New York-based Triumph Apparel Corp., Danskin sells to department stores, sporting goods stores, and other specialty shops, as well as through mass marketers, such as Target and Wal-Mart. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, June 08, 2009
Comings and Goings: Café Manolo Opens Thursday
The new Café Manolo (see WestportNow May 26, 2009) in the 8 Church St., Westport, location formerly occupied by Zest Café and Restaurant opens its doors for business on Thursday. Dinners will be served Tuesdays through Saturdays, according to owner Pedro Garzon. Frankie Glossman (on ladder) of Fairfield’s I-Level Sign Company and his father Brian put the final touches on the new signage today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings and Goings: All About Image Replaces Knoyzz
All About Image, a clothing, jeans and accessories shop has opened at 147 Post Road East in Westport in the location previously occupied by Knoyzz (See WestportNow March 31, 2009). The new store owner, Nicholas DiBattista, a Westchester resident, is a former employee of Knoyzz as are many of the store’s current staff. According to DiBattista, All About Image is his first venture as an owner of a retail shop and he plans to open three or four more stores in other locations. Asked to compare the new store’s inventory with Knoyzz’s merchandise, he said, “We have slightly higher-end merchandise than Knoyzz carried.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, June 05, 2009
Economy Focus of Library Discussion
The Westport Public Library’s Community Conversations series tonight focused on the economy with a program titled “Living in Disruptive Times….Societal Implications of the Financial Crisis.” Panelists included (l-r) Westporter Dan Gross, senior editor at Newsweek; Naomi Starobin, WSHU Public Radio news director; Al Puchala, a Westporter, co-founder and managing director of Signal Equity Partners; and Irving Wladawsky-Berger of Westport, moderator, chairman emeritus, IBM Academy of Technology. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Economic Briefing: Tough Times for Old and Young
Westporter Win Allen, author of “Don’t Get Mad, Get Rich,” told a Westport Barnes & Noble audience tonight that because of advanced age, many older Americans can never recover from recent financial losses. He said young people trying to enter the job market will find fewer openings because older people are not leaving their jobs. A Fulbright scholar and former Xerox Corp. executive, Allen, who earned his Ph.D from Fordham University, is also an accomplished real estate investor, financial adviser and business entrepreneur. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Patagonia Employees Win Bike Challenge
Employees of the Patagonia sportswear store at Westport’s 87 Post Road East were rewarded with a Dahon folding bike for their first place ranking of all 25 Patagonia stores across the country for their excellence in the company’s bike week last month. All 14 store employees racked up 562 miles commuting on bikes. Store manager Nate Paulson (not in photo) commuted from White Plains to Westport by bike on four days that week, a distance of 37 miles each way. Louis Pietig of Westport, a member of the store’s management, said, “We encourage our employees to bike to work – and many are doing that.” The folding bike award was presented by Westporter Steve Cuomo, U.S. marketing manager for the Dahon Company. Pictured are (l-r) Cuomo and Patagonia employees Dave Hames of Weston, Rilke Klingstorn of Greenwich, and Pietig. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Pequot Capital Mangement Shutting Down
Pequot Capital Management Inc., the well known hedge fund firm long based in Westport which recently moved to Wilton, is being closed down by founder Arthur Samberg amid an ongoing investigation into possible insider trading, The Wall Street Journal said today.
“Public disclosures about the continuing investigation have cast a cloud over the firm and have become a source of personal distraction,” Samberg wrote in a letter that was sent to investors today, the newspaper said on its Web site..
“With the situation increasingly untenable for the firm and for me, I have concluded that Pequot can no longer stay in business.”
Samberg, a pioneer in the hedge-fund business, has a track record that is among the best in the business, even while dealing with an on-again, off-again investigation by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department, the Journal said.
Comings and Goings: Manolo Restaurant Takes Zest’s Place
By Dave Matlow
A new restaurant will open next month on Westport’s Church Lane in space formerly occupied by Zest Café and Restaurant.
Pedro Garzon holds a photo of his great, grand uncle who was a retired surgeon who earned a brigadier general rank in the Spanish Army. The new Cafe Manolo owner said their travels together through Europe exposed him to cuisines that influenced his career, profession and life. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Pedro Garzon, a former chef at the Barcelona Restaurant on Temple Street in New Haven, will open his own business as the Cafe Manolo at 8 Church Lane where Zest closed in April. (See WestportNow April 20, 2009)
Garzon said the food will have a “Mediterranean influence with classic European recipes made with local ingredients.”
Garzon said his knowledge for these foods was influenced by his great grand uncle, a retired surgeon who earned a brigadier general rank in the Spanish Army, whom he visited in Barcelona as a child.