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Saying Goodbye to a True Slice of Westport

By James Lomuscio

Throughout the day they came, each one anxious to stake a claim to fond memories and his or her slice of American pie.

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Joe Mioli and friends on closing day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow or WestportNow.com

After more than 51 years as a town hub serving up slices and a welcoming sense of community to generations of townspeople, the Westport Pizzeria opened for the last time today.

“It’s been 51 beautiful years of excitement, good business and lots of memories,” said owner Carmelo Mioli, who with his brother Joe Mioli opened the shop at 107 Main St. on Oct. 12, Columbus Day, 1968. “But it’s time. I’m going to be 80 years old May 19.

“If I don’t retire now, I never will, and I can’t be 100 and still working here,” he added. “There are other things I want to do.”

Comings & Goings: Banana Republic Closes

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Members of the staff at Banana Republic, 44 Main St., take a break today from packaging its inventory on the apparel store’s final day. On Dec. 27 the store announced plans to close its Main Street shop. The history of the occupants at that location includes Triangle Tavern in the 1930s, which became the Townley Restaurant. then Klein’s, a stationery, book, records and office supplies business, which had a Main Street presence since 1937 and expanded into the space after a fire destroyed the eatery. In 1999, Klein’s leased the ground floor to Banana Republic and moved upstairs, finally closing for good in 2004.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings and Goings: The Meatball Shop Closing

The Meatball Shop Westport closing on January 12, 2020
The Meatball Shop, 2A Post Road West in the National Hall building, closes at the end of business on Sunday, According to manager David Wolvovsky, the eatery opened on June 22, the seventh location for the business that opened its first shop in 2010 on Stanton Street in New York’s Lower East Side. The Westport location was the only one outside of New York. The restaurants previously at 2A Post Road West included The ‘Port, Vespa, Cafe Zanghi, and Miramar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westport Business Owners Offer Advice

Westport Means Business for at Library, January 9, 2020
More than 80 people attended the forum “Westport Means Business” at the Westport Library Thursday evening. On hand were several business owners who are also local residents, sharing their stories of taking risks and overcoming mistakes along with offering advice to business owners. The panel discussion was moderated by Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker. The panelists were (l-r) Amy Hochhauser, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of JoyRide; Becky Cerroni, CEO and co-owner of JoyRide; Moderator Tooker (center); Bill Taibe, Executive Chef/Owner of The Whelk, Kawa Ni, and Jesup Hall;  and Marria Pooya, Founder and CEO of Greenwich Medical Spa. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings & Goings: Castle Wine & Spirits Changes Hands

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Castle Wine & Spirits, 1439 Post Road East, has undergone an ownership change from Chris Vellozzi and Greg Carlon to the husband-wife team of Craig and Marina Jensen who also own Village Wine & Spirits in Ridgefield since 2016. According to Craig Jensen, “Our plan is to enhance the shop’s fine operation, not to change it.” He added, “One change that will be apparent to shoppers is a planned facelift of the exterior.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings & Goings: Liquor Locker Undergoes Name Change

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The former Liquor Locker, 411 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, is renamed as The Fine Wine Company of Westport.  Owner for the past four years, Cory D’Addario, a Fairfield resident, said, “A name needs to reflect what you do, We offer fine wine. The former Liquor Locker name is from another era and is no longer reflective of us.”  Liquor Locker was on Main Street with owner Harvey Skolnick for 44 years before moving to its present location in 2012, D’Addario, a 1996 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) who has over 20 years experience in the wine and culinary industry, specializes in food pairing, wine tasting, and seminars. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westport Pizzeria Closing Jan. 11

By James Lomuscio

After more than 51 years of serving up slices and a welcoming sense of community to generations of townspeople, the Westport Pizzeria will officially shut its doors Saturday, Jan. 11, owner Carmelo Mioli said today.

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Mel Mioli in front of Westport Pizzeria, 143 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“It’s been my life,” said Mioli, who with his brother Joe Mioli opened the shop at 107 Main St. on Oct. 12, Columbus Day, 1968. “But it’s time. I’m going to be 80 years old May 19.

“If I don’t retire now, I never will, and I can’t be 100 and still working here,” he added. “There are other things I want to do.”

Mioli, known as Mel around town, moved to the current location in a building he owns on Feb. 24, 2014 after the Main Street lease was not renewed.

Comings & Goings: Banana Republic Closes Jan. 10

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Banana Republic, 44 Main St., the casual apparel shop, will close on Jan. 10. A staff member said, “We’ll be back, maybe as early as this spring, in a nearby location.” The history of the occupants at that location includes Triangle Tavern in the 1930s which became the Townley Restaurant. Klein’s, a stationery, book, records and office supplies business, which had a Main Street presence since 1937 expanded into the space after a fire destroyed the eatery. In 1999, Klein’s leased the ground floor to Banana Republic and moved upstairs, finally closing for good in 2004.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com