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Monday, May 19, 2014

Westport Outdoors: Joe’s Pizza

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Joe’s Pizza, 190 Main St., is today’s featured spot in the WestportNow series, Westport Outdoors highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. Formerly located at 143 Post Road East, the pizza, pasta, salads restaurant relocated to its current space in Main Street Commons in June 2012.  Owner Joe Canicatti said, “The six outdoor patio seating is pleasant in warm weather because we offer waiter service and customers especially like the BYOB policy, you can bring your own wine or beer. We provide the drinking glasses and are happy to uncork your bottle of wine.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:34 PM
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday at Tiffany & Co. in Westport

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Tiffany & Co. in Westport today hosted a group of young people from the All Star Project chapter in Bridgeport. The group toured the store, learned about jewelry, and some of Tiffany’s history since its founding 1837. The afternoon featured a talk on career choices. The All Star Project provides youth in poor communities with the out-of-school experiences that they need to grow as learners and active creators of their lives. Pictured with the group are John Petterson (c), Tiffany’s senior vice president, and Bill McGuinness (top r), Westport store director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 01:09 PM
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Westport April Unemployment Drops to 4.6 Percent

Westport’s unemployment rate in April was 4.6 percent, down 0.1 percent from March, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.

The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was lower was in August 2008 when it was 4.5 percent, just before the recession began to be felt. The rate hit 7.0 percent in June 2009.

The department said the number of Westport unemployed in April was 577, down from 580 in March. The April labor force in Westport numbered 12,566, up from 12,361 in March. There were 11,989 employed in April, up from 11,781 employed in March.

A year ago in April, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

Posted 10:35 AM
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Friday, May 09, 2014

Ed Board Secretary’s Company First in its Class

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Michael Gordon (3rd l), secretary of the Westport Board of Education, received high honors this week at the public relations industry’s SABRE awards in New York. His company, Group Gordon, was named the best boutique-sized company to work for and was lauded for its “excellent culture.” The winners were selected based on the votes of 4,000 employees from approximaely 60 PR firms from across the country. SABRE stands for Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation & Engagement. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 02:10 PM
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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Comings & Goings: Jos. A. Bank to Colonial Green

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Clothier Jos. A. Bank has relocated from the Compo Acres shopping center at 372 Post Road East, to Westport’s Colonial Green, 260 Post Road East, in the space previously occupied by George Subkoff Antiques, which relocated to 5 Post Road West. According to assistant store manager John Donaher, Jos. A. Bank opened at the Compo Acres location in the late 1990s. He said the new and former locations have approximately the same square footage.  “Our lease ended and it was as efficient to move as it would have been to make the necessary renovations at the Compo Acres location so it was decided to relocate.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

Posted 05:31 PM
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Monday, May 05, 2014

Comings & Goings: Pizzeria Bravo Wine Bar to PRE

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Pizzeria Bravo and Wine Bar opens next month at 1460 Post Road East, according to co-owner Michael Sias of Stratford. The space is the former location of Munson’s Chocolates which closed in April 2012 after 20 years in Westport.  According to Sias, who also owns Julian’s Brick Oven Pizza, 539 Riverside Ave., the new restaurant offers full service and has its beer and liquor license. He said the hours are not yet determined but it will be open every day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:52 PM
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Despite the Rain, Getting the Job Done

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Despite today’s rain, workers were putting last minute touches to South Moon Under, 14 Post Road East, in advance of Thursday’s 6-8 p.m. grand opening party. Westport is the first Connecticut location for the men’s and women’s fashion boutique, which had a ribbon cutting last month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

Posted 04:12 PM
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Tax Receipts Plunge, Next CT Budget $300M in Deficit

By Keith M. Phaneuf


Plummeting tax receipts have ripped a nearly $300 million hole in the next state budget, leaving legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy just one week to fix it, according to a new report today from fiscal analysts.

Meanwhile, proposed new spending for pre-kindergarten programs, the elderly and working poor, public colleges and universities, and for cities and towns hang in the balance –- as do tax breaks for teachers and consumers and the potential expansion of legalized gambling in Connecticut.

New projections from the administration and the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis also worsened the deficit in the first budget after the November election, pushing it close to $1.4 billion or 7.4 percent of annual operating costs.

Meanwhile, the $500 million-plus surplus Malloy touted just two months ago when he proposed a tax rebate has disintegrated to $43 million.

Click here for more of story

Posted 03:39 PM
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Comings & Goings: Daybreak Nurseries Closes

By Dave Matlow

After almost 73 years, Westport’s Daybreak Nurseries has closed and a builder who purchased the 2.2-acre property in a foreclosure sale says he plans to build four homes on the site.

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Daybreak Nurseries, opened in 1941, will become the site of four homes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Peter Greenberg, owner of Norwalk-based Able Construction, said he purchased the property at 500 Main St. for $1,350,000 as the highest bidder in a foreclosure settlement in February. 

He said the 2.2-acre property is comprised of four lots on which he plans to build four single-family homes limited to .5-acre each.

He said the zoning is grandfathered from the early 1940s for residential use with limitations. Greenberg said he is exploring other variations that may include a segment for commercial use.

More "Comings & Goings: Daybreak Nurseries Closes"

Posted 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Comings & Goings: Gaetano’s Deli to PRE

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Gaetano’s Arthur Avenue Style Deli will open at 1713 Post Road East in the space previously occupied by Westport Deli, which closed recently after 23 years at that location when the owners retired. According to Diana Ukehaxhaj, wife of co-owner Milanno Ukehaxhaj, her husband and his business partner Gaetano Catalano each worked for many years on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. She said they opened the first Gaetano’s Deli in Stratford in 1997 and then the Monroe shop in July, 2009. She said the Westport location, the third in their expanding business, “will hopefully open in about three months depending on the town’s approval process.”  She added, “For the past five years we’ve been voted No. 1 sandwich shop by Connecticut Magazine.”  For more information visit www.gaetanosdeli.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 09:48 AM
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Comings & Goings: Westport Wine & Spirits Opens

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Westport Wine and Spirits opened today at 877 Post Road East at the intersection of the Sherwood Island Connector. Owner Paul Sherman, a 2000 Staples High School graduate, said the softly played music coming from the new sound system in the 3,000-square foot store supports his position as “Connecticut’s first music-themed wine and spirits shop.” “Music goes hand-in-hand with wine and spirits,” he said. “We’ve incorporated both.” The site is the former location of Game Stop (see WestportNow, Feb.  27, 2014)  Store hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:59 PM
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Comings & Goings: Saugatuck Sweets Opens

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Workers scurry around today with finishing touches as Saugatuck Sweets, co-owned by Westporters Al DiGuido and Pete Romano, opened for business today at 575 Riverside Ave. in the Saugatuck Center space previously occupied by Saugatuck Craft Butchery. DiGuido said the shop features 22 flavors of hard ice cream, chocolates, baked goods (pies and cookies), and 75 different candies he describes as “both old school such as Mary Jane’s and Tootsie Rolls and new school candies like gummy bears and swedish fish.” A grand opening is set for Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:45 PM
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First Day Customers

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Co-owner Al DiGuido serves up ice cream today to first day customers as his Saugatuck Sweets opened at 575 Riverside Ave. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Laura Feder for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:41 PM
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How Sweet It Is

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Co-owner Al DiGuido of Westport tries out an ice cream dispensing machine today as Saugatuck Sweets, co-owned fellow Westporter Pete Romano, opened at 575 Riverside Ave.. in the Saugatuck Center space previously occupied by Saugatuck Craft Butchery. DiGuido, head of Westport-based charity Al’s Angels, said the menu, designed by Westporter Miggs Burroughs, has integrated Westport and Saugatuck into the names of many of the offerings like the “Saugatuck Split,” “Minute Man,” and “Wreckers” sundaes. The menu offers “no charge for expectant mothers—if you are showing,” “100+ year old customers—free dessert and coffee,” and for “members of PAL sports teams – 10 percent off all ice cream and yogurt items—must show PAL membership card.” Hours are noon to 10 p.m. daily. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:40 PM
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery Opens

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Grilled Cheese Eatery has opened at 772 Post Road East adjacent to the recently closed Great Cakes. The owners, Belgian-born Henri and Bulgarian-born Ivanina Donneaux, opened their first Grilled Cheese Eatery at 57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield in October 2013, having converted their Cafe Lola space into the new food concept. The menu categories include soups, salad bar, gourmet grilled cheese assortments with dipping sauces and sandwich add-ons. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. every day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:45 PM
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