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Comings & Goings: Reshuffling the Main Street Retailers

By Dave Matlow

Westport’s Main Street is about to take on a new retail look with new additions and current tenants changing addresses.

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New and old retailers are readying new space on Westport’s Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

According to Sharon Maddern, managing director, brokerage, at David Adam Realty, players involved include longtime tenant Lululemon Athletica as well as new arrivals Sundance and Johnny Was.

Lululemon, 91 Main St., will relocate to the space formerly occupied by Nike at 69 Main St., she said. The move will double space of the leisure clothing retailer.

Johnny Was, a women’s bohemian fashion retailer, will open at shared address 69 Main St., the former location of Allen Edmonds. It is the first store in Connecticut for the women’s fashion brand.

Viva Zapata Celebrates 50th Anniversary on Saturday

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Viva Zapata, the iconic Mexican restaurant in the heart of Saugatuck, will hold a party Saturday from noon until closing to celebrate its 50th year in business. The restaurant first opened in 1969 on Post Road East near what is now Playhouse Square and was owned by Duke and Jette Merdinger. After a fire destroyed the building later that year, the restaurant moved to its current location on Riverside Avenue in Saugatuck. Longtime employee Bob O’Mahony partnered with his brother-in-law Harry Brady and bought the restaurant from the Merdingers in 1993. They have owned and operated it since. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings & Goings: Chez 180 to Post Road East

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Chez 180, a gourmet restaurant under the guidance of Chef Carlos Perez, will open in the late summer at 180 Post Road East. According to Brookfield-based architect Christian Frye, Perez was co-owner of the former La Palette Bakery Cafe in Watertown. Chez 180, located directly across the street from three restaurants, Trattoria Finalmente, Jeera Thai and Le Penguin, will have 3,000 square feet and seat 40 patrons. It will feature a variety of cuisines and specialties, including fresh baked breads, pastries and desserts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

CT Reaches 2nd Deal in Three Years to Refinance Employees’ Pension Fund

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont checked off a key box on his budget to-do list today, announcing a deal with state employee unions to refinance payments into the workers’ pension fund.

The deal, which would save the state $130.7 million this fiscal year and $140.7 million in 2020-21, marks the second time in three years Connecticut has restructured its payments into the cash-starved pension fund. It makes no changes in pension benefits.

The agreement, which still must be ratified by the legislature, was approved over the last week by the governing board for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition. SEBAC notified the administration of that approval Wednesday.

“This is a good day for Connecticut as we continue making significant strides that are stabilizing our state’s finances and addressing our fixed costs,” Lamont said. “Some may have doubted our ability to achieve the budgeted pension savings, but here we are, and I am sure even they will enthusiastically agree that today’s news positions our state on firmer financial ground well into the next decade.”

Comings & Goings: Stretch Zone to Post Road East

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Stretch Zone, a practitioner-assisted stretch studio, opened today at 417 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center. Ridgefield resident Kyle Hargett (above), franchise owner, said the Westport location is Stretch Zone’s first in the state. According to Tony Zaccario, VP operations of the Ft. Lauderdale-based business who was present for the opening, the Westport location is its 69th in 18 states. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

All Smiles at Elvira Mae’s

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Betsey Kravitz (at window), co-owner with husband Hal of the new Elvira Mae’s, was all smiles late today after the Old Mill Beach convenience store received its certificate of occupancy at 3:30 p.m. and was able to begin selling ice cream and other goodies from the store’s service window. The store hopes to fully open for business at the weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Daybreak Housing Set to Open in December

By James Lomuscio

The former Daybreak Nurseries at 500 Main St. is getting a sidewalk to nowhere — a small price to pay for the town’s newest housing complex under construction, Daybreak Commons Westport.

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One of the nine homes under construction at Daybreak Commons Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The more than 700 feet of walkway will wrap from Main Street to Weston Road and to the entrance of the complex’s nine, 55 age-restricted homes going up on the 2.2-acre site.

Johnny Schwartz, principal of Norwalk’s Able Construction, Inc., said the sidewalk is what the town required, and because it was a state road, a whole host of state requirements had to be met as well.

But it’s not for naught, Schwartz said. Someday, it might connect to walkways at the intersection of Main Street and Compo Road North.