Thursday, March 03, 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
UPDATE (adds lawyer denial) The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a civil administrative proceeding alleging insider trading against a Westport-based business consultant who has served on the boards of directors at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble.
Rajat K. Gupta: Beachside Ave. resident charged. World Economic Forum photo
The agency said Rajat K. Gupta, 62, a resident of Beachside Avenue in Westport’s Greens Farms area who formerly headed McKinsey & Co., allegedly tipped off Galleon Management founder and hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam with inside information about the quarterly earnings at both firms as well as an impending $5 billion investment by Berkshire Hathaway in Goldman.
The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that Gupta, a friend and business associate of Rajaratnam, provided him with confidential information learned during board calls and in other aspects of his duties on the Goldman and P&G boards.
Rajaratnam used the inside information to trade on behalf of some of Galleon’s hedge funds, or shared the information with others at his firm who then traded on it ahead of public announcements by the firms, the SEC said.
Downunder owner Kim Beaumont poses with Saugatuck Center developers Sam Gault (l) and Jim Donaher. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Saugatuck Center, the new Gault-owned mixed-use development overlooking the Saugatuck River in the heart of Westport’s Saugatuck area, has signed its first retail tenant – a kayaking and paddle boarding rental, instruction, and surf shop called Downunder.
The signing was announced today and a news release said the shop will open on Memorial Day weekend, just in time for the unofficial start of summer, in a 2,000 square foot street level space.
“Reclaiming this beautiful piece of waterfront property for the enjoyment of the entire community has always been a top priority for us,” said Sam Gault of Hamilton Development, the real estate arm of Gault Energy and Stone.
“Downunder is the ideal anchor tenant for transforming this area into a fun destination for outdoor and water sports enthusiasts, alike.”
Monday, February 28, 2011
Westport’s Pottery Barn at 27 Main St. has closed for renovations. Store officials asked town permission to place dumpsters in the rear of the store for seven weeks beginning Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Early evening diners at the River House, 299 Riverside Ave., kicked off Westport Restaurant Week today. It is one of 16 Westport area restaurants participating in the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s annual dining event that runs through Saturday. Each restaurant is offering a special prix fixe lunch and dinner menu. Other participating restaurants include Acqua Ristorante, Blue Lemon, Bobby Q’s Barbeque & Grill, Bombay Club, Coromandel, DaPietro’s, La Villa Trattoria, Manolo, Mansion Clam House, Matsu Sushi, Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Restaurant and Bar, Splash Restaurant & Bar, Tarantino’s, Tavern on Main, Thali, and Via Sforza. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The House of Clement, an interior design studio with an emphasis on European furniture, opens Sunday at 181 Main St., Westport, in the facility previously occupied by Waterworks. French-born owner Gilles Clement said he has lived in the United States for 14 years and earned a Masters in design at Fairfield University. Now a Stamford resident, he retains interior design offices at 101 Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A new casual dining restaurant, the Blue Chip, will open in the space formerly occupied for 14 years by Jasmine, 60 Charles St., in Westport’s Saugatuck area, until its closing last September. The site is just up the street from the 30 Charles St. building that soon will house celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria. Partner Dean Marino said the Westport Blue Chip will be the second after the initial Blue Chip restaurant in Danbury which opened in May 2010. He said he is cautiously optimistic they can open by late June. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club, an upscale franchise barbershop, will open soon in Playhouse Square in the space above the Pierre Deux French country furnishings shop. According to its website, the company, has 152 franchised locations, including one in Ridgefield, and plans to open additional ones in numerous locations, including in Fairfield County. The website describes the businesses as a “gentleman’s membership club for unlimited haircuts and relaxing shaves.” It says the shops also offer a modern selection of grooming products, shoeshines, and complimentary drinks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Work was under way today at the 30 Charles St. building in Westport’s Saugatuck area that soon will house celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria. The new restaurant at the former site of Abbondanza, the specialty food store and catering service and its Bonda restaurant, is scheduled to open in late spring. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Roundabout, a women’s shop of new and consignment apparel, marks its grand reopenimg on Saturday at 606 Post Road East in the shopping center across the street from The Fresh Market. Owned by New Canaan residents Laurie and Richard Perren, the shop relocated from 170 Post Road West where it has been since 1991. Speaking of their new 3,800 square feet location, Laurie Perrin said: “We’re growing and needed more space—this new location has double the space of our former Post Road West store.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
By Sam Sagnella
With $4 gasoline a reality for some U.S. drivers, Westport was almost there today as well, but a survey found it still pays to shop with a wide range of prices in effect.
Regular gas was just under $4 today at the Mobil station at 302 Post Road East in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Sam Sagnella for WestportNow.com
The median price for cash-paying regular unleaded gasoline customers was $3.39/gal, with the average having risen to $3.47 per gallon, the survey found. Prices at 12 service stations with Westport addresses ranged from a low of $3.33 to as high as $3.99 for a single gallon.
The highest observed was $3.99 at the Mobil station at 302 Post Road East at around 11:45 a.m. The lowest was at Mercury Fuel near the Fairfield Line.
According to GasBuddy.com the average for regular unleaded gasoline in Connecticut today was $3.397/gal, compared to $3.343 a week ago and $2.811 a year ago. The national average is $3.222.
Lisa Thygerson, executive director of the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce since May 2009, has resigned to take a position as manager of a Citibank branch in Stratford, according to Chamber officials.
Lisa Thygerson: moving to Citibank. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thygerson, former manager of the Commerce Bank in Westport – later taken over by TD Banknorth—will leave effective March 4 for the Citibank job in Stratford, where she lives with her family.
“This was a hard decision for her but one that she felt she had to make at this time,” said Paul Gehr, chair of the Chamber board of directors in an email to board members. “Lisa has really helped turn things around at the Chamber over the past two years and we will truly miss her.”
The board scheduled a meeting on Wednesday to discuss finding a successor.
Dave Matlow contributed reporting for this article.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Connecticut consumers will soon have new safeguards in the state’s deregulated energy market.
Jeffrey Mayer: “Order is the product of careful effort.” Dave Matlow/WN file photo
The Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC), after months of research, discussion and input from utilities and suppliers, has released its Draft Decision on Marketing Practices.
The order lays out guidelines for suppliers and aggregators who offer electricity consumers alternate energy supply.
Since 2007, Connecticut homeowners and businesses have been free to purchase their electricity supply from independent marketers. The regulated utilities continue to maintain the wires and provide emergency services.
Friday, February 18, 2011
By Dave Matlow
Two financial heavyweights met at the Westport Public Library tonight to shed some light on what one described as “a strange moment in economic history.”
David Komansky (l) and Marc Lasry discuss the economy tonight at the Westport Public Library as Richard Murphy, contributing editor of Fortune Magazine, listens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
David Komansky, retired chairman of Merrill Lynch, and Marc Lasry, CEO and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, a global player in distressed securities, met in the library’s McManus Room to share thoughts on the recession, rising unemployment and the confusing fact that corporate profits are up.
It was the third successive year the two Westporters had teamed up for a February library appearance to talk about the economy.
Moderated by Richard Murphy, contributing editor at Fortune Magazine, Komansky and Lasry had a rapt, packed audience holding on to their every word, as most hoped to see a glimmer of hope on the financial horizon.
Monday, February 14, 2011
The Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Westport’s Bridge Square (see WestportNow Feb. 4, 2011) will open by either the first or second week of March, according to general contractor Jim McMahon (foreground, back to camera) of Waterbury-based Coffee House Construction. McMahon, who said he has renovated more than 100 Dunkin’ Donuts shops for a variety of owners over the past 18 years, said the new equipment will be installed Monday and then final hook-ups of electric, plumbing and HVAC will follow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Rice N Noodle Chinese restaurant and take-out service celebrates its grand opening at 1757 Post Road East, next door to Jordan’s Pizza, an Italian food eatery that opened just two months ago. According to Rice N Noodle manager Calvin Lau, this is the eighth Chinese food establishment owned by the Jennie and Jackie Chan family of New York who also own the State Fish Market on State Street in New Haven. Prior to Rice N Noodle, it was the location for Monkey King and before that it was the site of the Asian Cafe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
UPDATE (with new name of restaurant) The property at 30 Charles St. in Westport’s Saugatuck area that formerly housed Abbondanza, the specialty food store and catering service and its Bonda Restaurant for the past 15 years until last April, has been sold to chef and restaurateur Mario Batali. The $900,000 sale was recorded Friday in the Town Clerk’s office with Skip Lane (l) of Cushman & Wakefield as the broker. Batali operates 17 restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Lane said the new venture will open in late spring and will make use of the property’s “old garage” heritage. He said the Westport location will be named Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria, similar to Batali’s Tarry Market restaurant in Port Chester, N.Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, February 04, 2011
UPDATE Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Westport’s Bridge Square in the Saugatuck area next month. The 1,200-square foot store will go in to space next to the former Bridge Market, according to Jim Cain of Norwalk-based Cain Management. It will be Cain’s second Dunkin’ Donuts store in Westport –- the other is at 606 Post Road East. (A third Dunkin’ Donuts store in Westport at Post Road East and Maple Avenue North is not theirs.) Cain, whose company also operates two Baskin Robins stores in Norwalk, said the Bridge Square store will have full menu—including sandwiches—in addition to donuts, bagels, croissants and other items. The store, which will have seating for about nine persons, will employ about six to 12 employees, Cain said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Restoration Hardware wants to expand its 11-year presence in Westport’s center in the former Fine Arts Theatre building to the next door Old Westport Town Hall for sale of outdoor furniture. The Westport Historic District Commission will hold a pre-application session on Tuesday for proposed outdoor display plans by the company in the 1909-built building at 90 Post Road East. The plans include a fenced-in outdoor area for furniture with fountains that would be open to the public. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, January 28, 2011
By James Lomuscio
Though business success took center stage at the Westport Woman’s Club’s panel discussion tonight, politics shared the spotlight.
Tonight’s panel discussion at the Westport Woman’s Club featured (l-r) Dottie Herman, Walter Levine, and Linda McMahon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
Linda McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO who spent $40 million of her own money in an unsuccessful Republican run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Richard Blumenthal last year, was one of the three business titans speaking.
Also present were entrepreneur and philanthropist Walter Levine of Fairfield, and Dottie Herman, CEO of Prudential/Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City. They spoke before a packed audience of mostly women entrepreneurs and executives who came to hear the talk titled, “The Art of the Sale.”
McMahon, Levine and Herman touted the importance of a positive attitude in selling your product, enthusiasm, knowing your audience and how to learn from failure and defeat to succeed next time.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Riverside Sunoco on Riverside Avenue in Westport is undergoing renovations and will reopen as a food mart serving fresh coffee, snacks, and other food items. Owner Victor Kronberg said it will open in March under the name Riverside Sunoco Food Mart. The location will still sell Sunoco gasoline. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Monday, January 24, 2011
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tapped a member of the legal team that helped bring Connecticut a multi-billion settlement against the tobacco industry one decade ago to become the new head of the Department of Consumer Protection.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (l) introduces William M. Rubenstein, his nominee for consumer protection commissioner, today in Hartford. Ctmirror.org photo
Malloy, who announced his selection of Hartford attorney William M. Rubenstein, 59, Monday morning in the Legislative Office Building, charged his new commissioner with keeping a close watch on the “charlatans” that are bilking consumers on ever-growing Internet markets.
“The Department of Consumer Protection has a broad mandate - spanning a range of marketplace regulation - from keeping the public safe from nefarious business practices and ensuring that professional licensure standards are maintained,” Malloy said. “Bill’s exhaustive experience in public service ... leave me with no doubt that we have a commissioner who will be a diligent and thoughtful protector of, and advocate for, Connecticut residents.
Rubenstein, who will serve on an interim basis while his nomination is considered by the General Assembly, pledged that those who perpetrate fraud on consumers “deserve no quarter, and get no quarter on our watch.”
Click here for more of story
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Westporter Michele Albano is bringing her award-winning Michele’s Pies to Westport. She hopes to open the expansion from the Main Avenue, Norwalk store in mid-February at 180 Post Road East in space vacated last September by Baskin Robbins after 40 years. (See WestportNow Sept. 28, 2010) Albano, who frequents the farmers’ markets in Westport, said the Westport store will not only offer all the pies she has in Norwalk but also a big coffee selection and breakfast pastries every day. “Expanding our business to Westport makes sense to us,” she said. “We have a huge Westport clientele. I grew up in Westport.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Reporting by Dave Matlow; Contributed photo
Friday, January 14, 2011
Westport’s Bridgewater Associates, the town’s largest private employer which oversees one of the world’s largest hedge funds, is taking more than 50,000 square feet of space at The Towers complex in Norwalk, where it will share the headquarters building of Xerox Co., according to Fairfield County Business Journal’s Westfair Online.
According to records on file with the city of Norwalk, some $1.5 million is being spent on renovations to the offices, which are owned by Norwalk-based developer Building and Land Technology (BLT), the newspaper said.
Bridgewater Associates employs more than 900 workers at its headquarters just off Ford Road, on Riverside Avenue, and at the Nyala Farm office complex.
There has been recent speculation that Bridgewater is seeking to move its headquarters in order to consolidate its workforce. (See WestportNow July 9, 2010)
Friday, January 07, 2011
In spite of today’s snow and continued below freezing temperature, work goes on at the site of the new consolidated home for The Gap at 125 Main St. in Westport. The new location is scheduled to be ready for a September opening. View is from the rear Parker-Harding side of the building. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Westport-based Terex Corp., one of the world’s largest heavy construction manufacturers, said today its chief operating officer and the head of its cranes business have resigned.
In the shake-up, Terex COO Thomas Riordan, second-in-command behind Chairman and Chief Executive Ron DeFeo, will leave Jan. 31 to become chief executive of casting company Neenah Enterprises Inc. effective Feb. 1. Riordan’s duties, which also include president of Terex, will be taken over by DeFeo.
Terex said Richard Nichols, formerly president of the company’s cranes business, will be leaving the company in February. He had been cranes president since 2008. He will be succeeded by Kevin Bradley, who has been president of Terex’s financial services business.
Bradley will be replaced by Ramon Oliu, who has held a variety of positions in the financial services unit since joining Terex in 2007.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Weinberg’s professional career includes work in public and media relations, advertising, special events and television broadcasting, an announcement said.
A native of Bethlehem, Pa., Weinberg has resided in Connecticut since 1982 when he joined NBC Connecticut as a sports anchor/reporter.
Prior to joining the Family Y, Weinberg managed public relations and branding initiatives at Covidien and Northeast Utilities.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
By James Lomuscio
Sheldon Stein received resounding support as well as some neighborhood concerns as he brought plans to redevelop the Westport Inn before a Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) public hearing Thursday night.
Sheldon Stein’s plans include a ballroom for 250 people. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
Anne Marie Tartaglia of Sturges Highway had nothing but laurels for Stein’s plan to totally redevelop the inn that has operated on Post Road East since 1965. Stein, managing principal of New York-based Ranger Properties, bought the property three years ago.
“We are looking forward to having a place to send families when they’re in town, and we think the (upgrades) will be beautiful,” she said.
Stein’s $2.5 million planned revamp includes renovating the inn’s 115 rooms, putting in a restaurant, creating a ballroom for 250 people and making major landscaping improvements. He plans to give up 17 parking spaces in the front for plantings and eliminate some vertical parking to dispel any semblance to a motel. That is Phase I.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Roundabout women’s apparel shop, 170 Post Road West near the former Saab dealership, is relocating to Village Center Plaza, 606 Post Road East—the shopping strip across the street from the Fresh Market. Roundabout, which sells “designer closeouts and consignment” clothing has been in its present location for more than 20 years, according to the store manager. A sign says the move will occur in the spring. Gary Kowalsky of Kowalsky Brothers, the landlord, said the soon-to-be-occupied storefront was previously occupied by Dynamic Martial Arts which relocated to 645 Post Road East in the shopping strip anchored by Patio.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com