Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Comings & Goings: Neat Reopens Even Neater
Westport’s Neat Coffee and Craft Cocktails, 6 Wilton Road, officially reopens Thursday after closing for one week for a “face lift,” according to owner Rachel Haughey. “We replaced the furniture, fixtures, color scheme and the overall feel that our designers said ‘is like a Botox treatment,’” she said. Manager Sandra Walimaki describes the change as “having a warmer feel that’s both a coffee house and bar at the same time.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Comings & Goings: Red Barn Restaurant Closes
UPDATE The Red Barn Restaurant, a Westport institution for decades at 292 Wilton Road, has closed, according to an announcement on the restraurant’s website by the Nistico family, which operated the landmark next to exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway. “The Red Barn has officially closed,” the announcement said. “Thank You for your many years of patronage and support!” The announcement followed word from two sources in contact with the family that the restaurant had closed. Rumors have swirled for months that the restaurant was closing and was being purchased by the neighboring Westport Weston Family YMCA, which has not commented on the rumors. A sign on the front door today simply says “closed.” The Nistico family, longtime Westport restaurateurs who for decades had previously owned the Arrow Restaurant in Saugatuck, purchased the Red Barn in 1983. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Red Barn Closing Announcement is Sign on Front Door
UPDATE After months of rumors, a sign on the front door today of the Red Barn Restaurant, 292 Wilton Road, made it official—the landmark restaurant operated at exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway by the Nistico family since 1983 is closed. Later, an announcement went up on the restaurant website: “The Red Barn has officially closed. Thank You for your many years of patronage and support!” Its closure follows the end of two other landmark restaurants in recent years—the longtime Saugatuck mainstay Mario’s Place in April (see WestportNow April 4, 2015) and the Three Bears) Restaurant on Newtown Turnpike in 2009. (See WestportNow Feb. 2, 2009) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, July 10, 2015
Maybe, Maybe Not
A shopper at Westport’s annual summer sidewalk sale looks over a purse today in front of Shoe-Inn on Main Street as the three-day sale got under way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
It was close in shopping in front of the LF store, 26 Main St., today as crowds converged on the downtown area for the Westport Downtown Merchants Association annual summer sidewalk sale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Annual Sidewalk Sale Under Way
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Steam Percolating Amid Money Woes
The coffee, bakery and sandwich shop Steam, located at the refurbished stationhouse on the eastbound side of Metro-North’s Westport station in Saugatuck, usually closed on Sundays, was open today to generate community interest amid reported money woes to save the business. According to owner, Briana Pennell (behind counter, smiling), “Today is amazing. This town is so great, the turnout is huge.” Pennell added, “We had some obstacles when we started out, but we’ve now restructured and I am the sole owner.” She said some changes are being made and “we will relaunch in the next few weeks.” The business had been closing at 3 p.m., but she said starting Monday, July 6 new hours will be 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. and then open again in the evening 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Also, starting July 12, it will be open Sundays 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. “We’re adding a few services for customer convenience to make it easier for grab ‘n go customers,” Pennell added. Summer intern Jeremy Mintzer, a Weston High School senior, said Steam has introduced a VIP house card that works like the gift card concept. He encourages Steam supporters to access https://www.razoo.com/br/causes/Love-Steam where donations to help the business can be made. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Chipolte Mexican Grill Open for Business
Chipotle Mexican Grill opened today at 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center in the space previously occupied by Oaxaca Asian cuisine. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. has outlets in Fairfield, Darien, and Greenwich, among other Connecticut locations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Brisk Business from the Start
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Westport Native Called ‘Shishito-Pepper Baron of New York’
A New York City food website, New York Magazine’s grubstreet.com, has dubbed Westport native Noah Robbins, 27, the “Shishito-Pepper Baron of New York.” The son of Westporters Jody and Peter Robbins, he began growing the snacking pepper “on a hunch,” according to the website,.“Now Robbins’s two-year-old company, Ark Foods (http://arkfoods.co/), grows a half-million pounds of peppers per year, and the 27-year-old farmer is applying a Silicon Valley start-up approach in his quest to uncover the next must-have ingredient,” grubstreet.com said. Read the full story here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) grubstreet.com photo
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Comings & Goings: Fresh Green Light Driving School Opens
Fresh Green Light driving school has opened at 1362 Post Road East. Steve Mochel and his wife Laura Shuler or Weston, parents of four teenage drivers, co-founded Fresh Green Light in 2009 after leaving corporate marketing jobs with a mission to make teen drivers safer behind the wheel. The company also has sites in Greenwich, Darien, and Wilton and will open in Fairfield next month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Chipotle Mexican Grill Sets June 28 Opening
Chipotle Mexican Grill will open at 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center on Sunday, June 28 at 11 a.m. according to a sign that has gone up on the front door. (See WestportNow June 5, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
State Launches Redesigned Website
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut has launched a complete redesign of its official website – http://www.ct.gov – containing a new layout, new features, and new efficiency measures that will ultimately increase usability, customer service, transparency, and access for its visitors.
The homepage of the new http://www.ct.gov website. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The new website, which is now live, is part of a major modernization process for the state’s online presence that – in addition to containing new features – is organized to meet the specific needs of the residents, businesses and visitors of the state, an announcement said. It was designed for use on computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
“In the 21st century, the state’s online presence is our virtual welcome mat, and we want to ensure that businesses, residents and visitors alike have the tools they need to conduct business with the state over their computers in a way that eliminates redundancy and improves usability for users,” said Malloy.
“This modernization was no doubt long overdue and needed, and as its development continues, we are keeping an eye towards ensuring that new features continue to be added that increase the number of online interactions available for users and make it as easily accessible as possible.”
Mario’s to Reopen as Harvest in September
Signs have gone up on the former Mario’s Restaurant on Railroad Place saying the new Harvest restaurant will open in September. A sign in the window says: “Coming this September. Harvest is a fresh take on our lifelong commitment to satisfying meals and loyal guests. Custom cuisine from farm to fork. Harvestwinebar.com.” The popular Saugatuck Italian restaurant and steak house since 1967 closed in April (See WestportNow April.l 4, 2015) The DeMace family retains ownership of the building while leasing to restaurateurs Vicente and Nuve Siguenza. They are owners of Cava in New Canaan, and Harvest in Greenwich and New Haven, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Friday, June 12, 2015
Malloy Seeks to Roll Back $220 Million in Business Tax Hikes
By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today proposed to roll back more than $220 million in tax hikes, almost all of them on business, in the new two-year state budget, and replace them with still-to-be-identified spending cuts.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman at today’s Hartford news conference. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas/ctmirror.org photo
The governor – whose proposal followed a meeting with the state’s chief business lobby — comes on the heels of threats from General Electric and other major corporations to shed jobs and possibly leave the state.
Malloy said he anticipates the changes will be considered later this month when lawmakers gather in special session to adopt budget policy bills needed to implement the new spending plan.
“I have always been clear that I believe that we need to be smart about spending, about revenue, and about our future,” said Malloy, who met earlier today with Connecticut Business and Industry Association President Joseph F. Brennan. “…Even as we have one of the the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the nation, these steps are being made to protect Connecticut’s long-term interests.”
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