Thursday, April 25, 2013
Comings & Goings: Sunglass Hut Set to Reopen
Workers are busy at Sunglass Hut, 74 Main St., which will reopen in May, according to an on-site construction manager. “Reconstruction will be completed by May 8, inventory will begin re-stocking immediately thereafter that and we should be ready for business by May 13,” he said. The business, closed since Storm Sandy, also operates in other Fairfield County locations including Greenwich, Stamford and Trumbull. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, April 22, 2013
Comings & Goings: Eyeglasses.com to Post Road East
Eyeglasses.com, an integrated retail and Internet store, has opened at 147 Post Road East across from the site of the former main post office. Westporter Mark Agnew said he founded the company as an Internet-only business in 1999 shortly after leaving Lehman Brothers where he was an emerging market research analyst.“The 2,000-square foot store is a prototype retail operation which we plan to expand geographically aiming at Greenwich next,” he said. He said the Internet retail concept allows customers to purchase from a range of 250,000 frames which may be purchased as frames only or with a prescription to include lenses. An optometrist is on site two days each week for eye examinations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Fovama Oriental Rugs Closing
By Dave Matlow
The Fovama Oriental Rugs store, 1385 Post Road East, next to Balducci’s, will close by early July, according to owner Javad Ahmadi.
Javad Ahmadi, owner of Fovama Oriental Rugs, says rug buying habits have changed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A presence in Westport for 20 years, Fovama opened in 1993 in the shopping strip anchored by Pier One and in 1997 moved to its current location.
“The economy has changed in the past three or four years,” said Ahmadi. “It’s become difficult for a bricks and mortar business like mine to succeed.”
Ahmadi, who came to the United States during the Iranian revolution in the 1970s, said the concept of owning rugs has changed.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Comings & Goings: CM Gourmet Market to Saugatuck
CM Gourmet Market will open in June in the newly constructed Saugatuck Center, 580 Riverside Ave., according to owner Michelle Weber (above) who also owns Cocoa Michelle – which will continue to operate – at nearby 54 Railroad Place. “We’re shooting for mid to end of June to open our new business,” said Weber. It will occupy the entire L-shaped wing on the left side of the new structure and include two sections, a gourmet market and a café with full breakfast and lunch menus, she said. Weber said the cafe chef, Molly Brandt, who was chosen as one of 10 best student chefs by Food & Wine Magazine in 2006, would relocate from Florida. WestportNow reported on Tuesday that Saugatuck Craft Butchery will open in the L-shaped building on the right side of Saugatuck Center, opposite the CM Gourmet Market. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Report: State Economy Headed for Crisis
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
Connecticut’s massive long-term debt, deep pockets of poverty and more than 20 years of stagnant job growth threaten to sink the state’s economy for decades unless major reforms are enacted, according to a report today from a national fiscal responsibility group and the University of Connecticut’s economic think-tank.
Connecticut at Risk: calls for new reductions on public worker retirement benefits. Contributed graphic
Comeback America Initiative founder David M. Walker and UConn economics Professor Fred V. Carstensen, who outlined their report at the Hartford Marriott, called for dramatic new reductions on public worker retirement benefits, deeper investments in transportation, education and economic marketing, and an enhanced “culture of transparency” that will drive greater efficiencies in state spending.
Though Connecticut has one of the highest bonded debts, per capita, of any state in the nation, that represents just a fraction of the crippling debt taxpayers must answer for the in near future, said Walker, a Bridgeport resident and former U.S. comptroller general under President Clinton. He launched his Comeback America campaign for fiscal responsibility in 2010.
The picture goes from bad to scary, the report says, when one considers state employee and public school teacher pension funds that have less than half the resources they need to meet future obligations, as well as a state retiree health care program for which government has saved almost nothing.
Click here for more of story
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Comings & Goings: Craft Butchery to Move Across Street
The Saugatuck Craft Butchery, 575 Riverside Ave., owned by Ryan (above) and Katherine Fibiger, which opened at the Saugatuck Center in November 2011, will relocate across the street before July 4. “Our new shop across the street—the L-shaped building on the right—will more than double our space, give us more room for meat cutting and in the new wing we will offer more prepared foods,” said Samantha Garwin, marketing manager. Chef Mark Heppermann said the expanded prepared food section will offer more sandwiches, a greater variety of chili, meatball, tureens, pates, meatloaves, and more. “We’ll have some outdoor seating in addition to indoor tables that will seat around 10,” he added. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
New Home of Saugatuck Craft Butchery
Saugatuck Craft Butchery will occupy the L-shaped building on the right when it moves across Riverside Avenue in July from its current home. The new store will be part of phase two of the Gault family’s mixed use retail and residential Saugatuck Center Development. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Mideast Restaurant to PRW
Kibberia Middle Eastern Restaurant and Cafe will open in late June at 361 Post Road West in the location formerly occupied by John’s Best. Owner/chef Carole Iskandar (above) owns a restaurant with the same name in Danbury (www.kibberia.com). Danbury resident Iskandar said the restaurant will have a casual environment that seats 100 and offers take-out service. She said customers will order their food, which includes many vegan dishes, at the counter which will then be served at your table. “We’re applying for a liquor license but plan to offer a BYOB policy until then.” The native of Lebanon who moved to the United States when she was 14, said she chose Westport for her business expansion because “so many of our customers come from Westport and they encouraged me to open a similar restaurant here. They say ‘Westport has nothing like this.’” John’s Best closed in January after 45 years in Westport (See WestportNow Jan. 8, 2013) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Comings & Goings: Peachwave Yogurt to PRW
The blizzard of frozen yogurt stores in Westport continues with the opening later this month of Peachwave Yogurt at 170 Post Road West, across from the Kings Highway Elementary School. The Westport store will be one of 20 in Connecticut, the nearest Fairfield County locations include openings scheduled for Wilton, Norwalk and New Canaan with existing shops in Ridgefield, Bethel and Danbury. Oklahoma-based Peachwave markets its product as “low in calories and fat, high in calcium, and high in protein,” according to its website. Peachwave joins Sweet Frog, Pinkberry, Top This, all on Post Road East, and FroYo World on Post Road West. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, April 12, 2013
Comings & Goings: Citgo Station on PRE Sold
Consumers Petroleum has acquired the convenience store, Citgo gas and service station at Westport’s 786-788 Post Road East for $1.6 million, according to the Trumbull-based company. The Town Hall transaction record shows the land sale was valued at $900,000. After 80 years in one family, the service station was put up for sale last October. (See WestportNow, Oct.10, 2012) It was founded in the early 1930s by Joe DeMattia. According to Ken Paolini, a 22-year staff member, the new owners will take over in “three to six months or maybe even a year from now” and plan to eliminate the service bay, offering self-service gas plus a large convenience shop. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Chamber Elects New Board Members
The Westport–Weston Chamber of Commerce has announced the election of the newest members of its Board of Directors. They are (standing l-r): Emily Derr, Destination XL; Chris Martino, Advantage Payroll Services; (sitting, l-r) Peter Harrington, financial services manager vice president, People’s United Bank; Jonathan Baron, financial advisor, Edward Jones Investments, who will be the new Chamber treasurer; David Conneely, IFloat, and Joan Hume, Westport Public Library. Not shown: Gail Compton Flynn, founder and head of Work It Out Wardrobe, and Nicholas Rossi, Purple Feet Wine & Spirits. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Comings & Goings: Luxury Car Dealer to Post Road East
UPDATE Miller Motorcars of Greenwich plans to establish a presence in Westport by opening a showroom at 1026 Post Road East, according an an application on file at Planning & Zoning. Company officials did not return a call for comment. Larry Bradley, P&Z director, said the application is pending review by the Architectural Review Board. “This is new to us,” he said. “We have not had a new car dealership open in Westport in decades, although there has been turnover in ownership in the past.” He said the plans include the creation of three service bays. The location is the former home of J. McLaughlin, an apparel retailer that closed on July 15, 2012. (See WestportNow June 28, 2012) The Miller website said its offerings include Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Chamber President: Communication is Key
Lisa Parrelli Gray, president of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, told the Westport Rotary Club today the Chamber and Westport residents “need to communicate with one another to keep the community vibrant.” “Westporters are passionate and vocal,” she said, citing the example of Great Cakes. When word got to the community that the Post Road East bakery was in financial trouble, local residents instantly lined up to help, she said. Gray said one way the Chamber fosters these relationships is through partnering with the many local businesses and nonprofit organizations to create joint programs and events that support communications. “It’s all about relationships,” she said. “The best part of my job is meeting people.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Comings & Goings: Oaxaca Closes on Post Road East
The Mexican restaurant Oaxaca Kitchen, 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center, has closed. An employee at a neighboring store said, “They were busy and then of a sudden they were gone.” The Thali India restaurant, under the same management, opened there in April 2010 and before that it was the Taipan restaurant. According to its website, owner and chef Prasad Chirnomula operates another Oaxaca restaurant at 228 College St., New Haven and three India cuisine restaurants under the name of Thali in New Canaan, Ridgefield and New Haven. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, April 05, 2013
Comings & Goings: Children’s Haircutter to PRE
UPDATE Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids will reopen in Westport in June or July at a building under construction at 1568 Post Road East, the former location of Goodwill Industries, according to founder Scott Sharkey. The salon was previously at 1866 Post Road East but closed in May 2012 when it lost its lease to Panera Bread, he said. Sharkey said the company, founded in 2002 and “the fastest growing kids salon in the world,” has moved its headquarters to Westport from Cos Cob and the new salon here will be its flagship location. “We have over 245 franchises sold throughout the world, all originating here in Connecticut and in Westport,” he said. Sharkey’s theme, according to it website, is: “The salon just for kids where the haircuts are cool.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport