Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Vincent Palumbo today looks over the new premises for The Vincent Palumbo Salon, formerly the Peter Coppola Salon on Wilton Road, which opens Sept. 8 in the newly renovated shopping plaza at 616 Post Road East. Palumbo said that the area in the rear of the property has been resurfaced for parking more than 50 cars. He said the Peter Coppola Salon at 20 Wilton Road will have its final day of business on Saturday after 13 years in that location. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 30, 2010
Business was brisk at Westport’s Matsu Sushi restaurant today as it and 11 other restaurants participating in Westport Restaurant Week kicked off a week of specially priced lunch and dinner menus. The event, the second of the year, is sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and runs through Sept. 4. Although it’s not on the special menus, Matsu Sushi offers the popular WestportNow Roll named after a certain local Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Pho Garden, featuring Vietnamese cuisine, officially opened today at 1620 Post Road East in Westport. Owned by Bridgeport residents Anh Nguyen and Tim Huynh, the new restaurant seats 34 and offers takeout service. (See WestportNow Aug. 4, 2010) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, August 21, 2010
By James Lomuscio
Barista Jessica Kerch was busy serving up truffles and cappuccinos Friday when questions came from the curious who breezed through Cocoa Michelle at 190 Main St. in Westport.
Coca Michelle regulars, including Jim Fine (hat) of Weston, were sad to see the Main Street store close. “We have come to rely on it,” he said. “I’m furious.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“Today’s the last day?” a woman asked. Kerch nodded.
“What are you going to do with all the chocolates?” the woman continued. “Any discounts?”
Kerch confirmed that it was the last day of operation for the chocolate seller and cafe, but there would be no discounts.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Westonite Pat Kerth, a friend of Cocoa Michelle owner Michelle Weber, looks over the empty Main Street store at the end of the day today. The store and cafe at 190 Main St. closed after four years but will continue at its Saugatuck location at 54 Railroad Place. Weber, who is out of town, said the decision to close was strictly financial.“Main Street is not what it used to be,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport’s unemployment rate in July increased to 6.2 percent from 6 percent in June (corrected from the earlier announced 5.9 percent), the Connecticut Department of Labor said.
It was just below the 6.3 percent May rate which was the highest since January when it was 6.6 percent. The department said the number of unemployed in July was 809, up 40 from 769 in June.
While the unemployment rate was up, the Department of Labor said the July labor force in Westport numbered 13,054 persons with 12,245 employed, both figures a high for the year.
The Westport labor force number increased by 152 persons in July over June, the department said, with 112 more persons employed in July over June.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Cocoa Michelle, a chocolate store and cafe at 190 Main St., closes Friday after a four-year run at the address. Store owner Michelle Weber will continue to operate a branch at 54 Railroad Place opposite the train station in Westport’s Saugatuck area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Gap, the men’s and women’s nationwide casual apparel chain, is expected to relocate its Westport store from its current location at 69 Main St. to 125 Main St. The town’s regulatory departments are currently reviewing the application for approval of facade renovations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Westport’s Terex Corporation announced today two business deals that will give it an increased presence in the Chinese marketplace.
Terex, which makes construction and material handling equipment, said that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 65 percent control of the privately held Shandong Topower Heavy Machinery Company located in Jinan, China.
It also announced that it has entered into an agreement with Fujian South Highway Machinery Company to establish a mobile materials processing equipment manufacturing joint venture in Quanzhou, China.
“These actions further escalate the growth opportunity for Terex in China, which has been steadily expanding with the addition of our Terex Port Equipment facility in Xiamen, and our new Aerial Work Platforms factory, nearing completion in Changzhou,” said Ron DeFeo, Terex chairman and chief executive officer.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The strip of 11 storefronts known as 606 and 616 Post Road East in Westport is undergoing a facelift, according to Don Kowalsky, an officer of Kowalsky Brothers Construction, owners of the property. He said it will include new sidewalks and new siding that will make the stores look more like the ones across the street—- also owned by the Kowalsky family—in the strip of storefronts anchored by Fresh Market. Kowalsky said that the Peter Coppola Salon is relocating from Wilton Road to the 616 Post Road East location in the next month and he expects to have the facelift completed by the end of September. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
A new report on average income per person tells southwest Connecticut residents what they already knew – their take home pay is down big time.
In fact, the estimate released today by the U.S. Commerce Department showed per capita income in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area fell by one of the biggest margins in the nation in 2009.
Yet the news was not all bad. The metropolitan area that stretches from Greenwich to Bridgeport and includes Westport remains far and away the wealthiest among 366 U.S. areas — as it has for years.
Per capita income in the Bridgeport- Stamford-Norwalk metro area was $73,720 in 2009, down 6.8 percent from $79,108 the previous year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Westport’s first restaurant specializing in Vietnamese cuisine will open at 1620 Post Road East this month, according to its co-owners, Anh Nguyen and Tim Huynh, both Bridgeport residents. Huynh, a diverse entrepreneur who also owns Lynn’s Nail Salon in Bridgeport for the past nine years, said that his family has been in the restaurant business in California for a long time. The new restaurant will have seating for 34 as well as take-out service. In preparing for the grand opening Huynh said the restaurant’s Vietnamese theme will highlighted by the co-owners and staff donning traditional Vietnamese attire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 02, 2010
A new wine, beer and spirits shop, Saugatuck Grain and Grape, will open next month on Railroad Place next to Mario’s in space long occupied by Depot Liquors, according to owners Westport residents Jeff Marron and fiancee Mimi McLaughlin. McLaughlin, known to many Westporters as the owner of the women’s retail apparel shop Screamin’ Mimi that was located on Main Street until 2003 in space now occupied by Lucky Brands, has been a Westport resident since 1989. Marron, a Darien native, said that the new shop will feature “educational sessions with special interests in scotch and bourbon and many great artisanal wines.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, July 30, 2010
The AAA Travel office, located in the strip of stores at 20 Saugatuck Ave. in Westport’s Saugatuck area for the past 20 years, is closing its office at the end of the business day today. It is not leaving Westport, however. See below for its new home. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport AAA Travel office is relocating from 20 Saugatuck Ave. to its new office at 419 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center. The new office opens on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Brooks Brothers new children’s store Fleece officially opened at 10 a.m. today at 136 Main St., next to the traditional Brooks Brothers store. The Westport store marks the 192-year-old retailer’s first foray into girl’s apparel. While boys’ is not a new category for Brooks Brothers, the Fleece collection represents a new direction and focus by the retailer, which includes not only tailored clothing but a new emphasis on sportswear. The Fleece shop is accessible through its front door entrance as well as through a passageway between it and the adjacent Brooks store. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Just in time for back to school shopping, Brooks Brothers announced today it will debut its highly anticipated children’s line in the company’s first freestanding Brooks Brothers Fleece for Boys and Girls store in Westport on Thursday.
The new children’s store is located at 136 Main St. in space formerly occupied by Crabtree & Evelyn in the Brooks Corner shopping complex and next door to the longtime Brooks Brothers traditional store.
The store will feature more than 700 square feet of sportswear created by Brooks Brothers’ guest designer Nikki Kule.
The new location will also mark the introduction of Brooks Brother’s first ever girl’s collection of sportswear, party dresses, blazers and accessories all bearing a whimsical version of the brand’s iconic signature sheep label, an announcement said.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Brooks Brothers is opening a standalone children’s store callled Fleece at 136 Main St., just a couple of doors down from its longtime clothing store. The Fleece line for girls and boys will be featured in about 15 Brooks stores, according to its Web site. Workers said Fleece will open in about two weeks. An industry trade journal reported the children’s standalone stores are being tried out in Westport and Kansas City. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, July 19, 2010
By James Lomuscio
Even in a down economy, innovative, entrepreneurial startups can take off. Such is the case with Weston Software, Inc. located at 728 Post Road East in Westport.
In the Money: John Babyak (l) and Hank Voight of Weston Software. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Today the company, which moved to Westport six weeks ago from Southport, received a $500,000 grant from Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority overseeing technology development and innovation.
The money, granted through CI’s Seed Investment Fund, is for Weston Software’s Power One, a technology platform that the Connecticut Technology Council last year voted “the most promising software of the year.”
Gov. Jodi M. Rell, in making the announcement, said she hoped the grant would help to grow technology jobs “in Westport and throughout Connecticut.”
Friday, July 16, 2010
Westport’s unemployment rate in June fell to 5.9 percent from 6.3 percent in May, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.
The 6.3 percent May rate was the highest since January when it was 6.6 percent.
The Department of Labor said the June labor force in Westport numbered 12,917 persons with 12,154 employed, a high for the year.
It said the number of unemployed in June was 763, down from 806 in May.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Minuteman switches from tabloid to broadsheet. WestportNow.com photoAt a time when most newspapers are downsizing, the Westport Minuteman, owned by New Jersey-based Journal Register Company, is expanding, at least in size anyway.
The weekly newspaper, founded in 1993 by a group of Westport investors, has been a tabloid from its inception. The new format, known as “broadsheet” in the newspaper industry, allows for more and longer news stories, larger photographs, and bigger ads.
It now has the format of rival twice-weekly Hearst Corporation-owned Westport News, which also began 40 years ago as a tabloid.
“We definitely believe our new larger format will be a big plus,” said Westport Minuteman Editor Tom Henry in today’s ediiton.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Beadwave Jewelry & Supplies at 179a Main St. behind Talbot’s has closed and announced plans to reopen its business in Arizona in the fall. Owner Pam Morris sent a message to customers advising them of the move and inviting them to keep in touch through a Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Westport’s largest employer, Bridgewater Associates, might be leaving town for Stamford, according to reports from Business Insider and Westfair Online.
With about 900 employees, the hedge fund operates out of sprawling headquarters at One Glendinning Place, as welll as other offices on Riverside Avenue and the Nyala Farms complex.
Its decision to move “could be the most significant in the commercial real estate market in the second half,” said Westfair, citing real estate brokers.
It would also have an effect on local tax revenues as Bridgewater pays $236,000 annually in personal property taxes, according to the Tax Assessor’s office.
Friday, July 02, 2010
A new retail women’s apparel shop, Dress Code, will open Thursday at 578 Post Road East in the location formerly occupied by Princess Jewelers. Owner Mary Perkins, a Queens native and now an East Norwalk resident, previously lived in Westport for 13 years. Prior to Dress Code, Perkins operated a home decorating business in Fairfield from 1997 to 2007. “I will now offer beautiful clothes consistent with my background in beautiful decor,” she said. “The shop specializes in dresses, tops and skirts.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 01, 2010
After 13 years in its current location at 20 Wilton Road on the west bank of the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center, the Peter Coppola Salon is moving to 616 Post Road East in the strip of stores that includes the Bombay Restaurant. Owned by Newtown resident Vincent Palumbo, Peter Coppola Salon will reopen there in September and not lose a day because the move will take place on a weekend. Marcy Wright, Coppola’s general manager, said the business is moving because the current site—part of the Inn at National Hall complex—has been sold and is being converted into an all-office complex. “We’re so thrilled to be moving to space on Post Road where we’ll be closer to the center of town with lots of foot and vehicle traffic—so many more people who did not know us will begin to see us,” she said. “It will be amazing and beautiful.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Joseph J. Cassano, the Westporter who was chief executive of the American International Group unit that insured mortgage-related securities with calamitous results, testified in Washington today that he could have saved taxpayers billions of dollars if he had stayed at the company to negotiate with banks that were demanding more collateral as the insurer hit trouble. Cassano, who learned last month that federal prosecutors would not bring charges against him (See WestportNow May 23, 2010), spoke in public for the first time about his role at AIG before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which is studying the causes of the financial crisis. Cassano left AIG in February 2008 over disagreements with the company’s auditors about how to value portions of his unit’s investments. He earned nearly $300 million from the firm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow photo from CNBC.
Monday, June 28, 2010
No more fueling up at Westport’s Christie’s Country Store at 161 Cross Highway. Jon DiGuiseppi, service advisor, said they stopped pumping gas last September and then recently removed the pumps (inset) and underground tanks. “We’re in the part of town that doesn’t have high traffic volume and our underground tanks were aging,” said DiGuiseppi. He said the replacement of the tanks would be a large investment “so we felt it was time to get rid of them.” But there is a positive side, he said. “We now have more parking and can accommodate more customers.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The formal opening of the retailer 4 @ 1 was celebrated today with a ribbon–cutting ceremony at 141 Post Road East, opposite the downtown post office. Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff (l) and Lisa Thygerson (r), president of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, joined the co-owners Seham Ibrahim and husband Akram Enany. The shop occupies the same location as a former retailer called “& Company” which was managed by Enany who describes the new store as one that specializes in “high end apparel for men, women and children as well as household accessories such as towels and linens.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, June 19, 2010
The Cedar Brook Café, said to be the nation’s oldest, continuously operating gay bar, is scheduled to close after 71 years on June 26, according to its Web site. The cafe located at 919 Post Road East is shutting its doors because “the building was sold and the new rent is out of our reach,” owner Clem Bellairs said. “The Cedar Brook, which was also known as The Brook, with the name changed in the 1970s, was No. 1 in its time for liquor sales in the state,” he said. Bellairs, who said a closing party is scheduled for June 26, added: “I would like to personally thank all the patrons for showing me what pride really means, support and giving me faith in the human race. Special thanks to the Westport Police Department, our neighbors, my attorney, but most of all my staff. I’ll miss you all.” The building was sold last fall for $1.6 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Friday, June 18, 2010
Westport’s unemployment rate last month increased for the first time this year, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
The rate in May was 6.3 percent, up from 5.6 percent in April and the highest in 2010 since January when it was 6.5 percent.
There were similar jumps in the month’s unemployment figures for Weston, Wilton, Darien, New Canaan and Greenwich.
“The modest decreases we experienced earlier this year were tempered by the May report,” said Joseph M. Carbone, president and CEO of Bridgeport-based The WorkPlace Inc., which administers workforce development funds and coordinates job training and education programs in the region.