Westport Pizzeria: On The Move From Main Street?

For years — as locally owned businesses have left Main Street — Westporters have said, “At least we’ve still got the pizzeria.”

How much longer, though, is uncertain.

Mel Mioli

Owner Mel Mioli confirmed this afternoon that Westport Pizzeria — a downtown fixture for 43 years — may not be there much longer.

He’s negotiating a new lease. If the terms don’t work out, he won’t renew.

The good news: He’s got a new place lined up.

Westport Pizzeria would take over the space that will be vacated when Joe’s Pizza — just around the corner on the Post Road, opposite the old post office — leaves.

Joe’s is moving too — coincidentally to Main Street. The new location will be the small building that houses Sally’s Place.

As for Westport Pizzeria: There are “a couple of months of negotiations left,” Mel says.

“We’d like to stay here. We’re used to it. But we’ll see what happens. We’ve got time.”

Mel does not seem worried. “If we have to move, we’ll be happy,” the popular owner says. “And we’ll make the new place very nice.”

29 responses to “Westport Pizzeria: On The Move From Main Street?

  1. melody james

    Oh no! I have always loved Quincy Jones’ song, Everything Must Change but…I’m an old Westporter and dislike the WAY downtown has changed. Once a functioning MAIN STREET with gas station, grocery store, book stores (yup plural), a vibrant DOWNTOWN YMCA with constant activity, movie theater…well I could go on. BUT I’m hoping Westport Pizzaria’s negotiations put rent in their ballpark. I’m sick of the chains and so little offered but shop-shop-shop. Gotta have a place to DROP in for PIZZA!

  2. Joe’s Pizza? Never heard of it. We still call that place as “S + M Pizzeria”.

  3. Dale Nordling

    Main Street HAS changed since I left in 1970, not for the better. I enjoyed it’s locally owned businesses, and the unique character reflected in each of them. Last time I was in town, Main Street was just a high-end mall. However, I was thrilled to walk into the Westport Pizzeria and remember how MY Main Street felt. The Pizzeria’s sounds, smells, and tastes are my equivalent of Proust’s madeleine. If the Pizzeria does move, at least we can still visit it in the new location.

  4. I would hate to see the pizzeria leave Main Street, but my inner skeptic says this threat is a classic negotiating tool to get a low rent.

    • Trust me no threat will help the rent situations the building owners are setting ridiculous rents to push the small business out of main street… the only small business owners that can manage to stay own their buildings as in the case of oscars…

  5. Evidently, Mioli’s bought the building across from the old Post Office that houses Joe’s Pizza, and will be moving there. Joe’s is moving June 1 to Main St near Sally’s CD store.

  6. it’s outgrown it’s current place a long time ago,,,good luck! we will see u soon – s&m and westport pizza join forces!

  7. Dinosaur Dad

    It is a true shame what’s become of downtown. It’s truly become a hodgepodge that serves only commercial interests. Not to beat a dead horse, but take a walk through downtown Fairfield and you’ll see what could have been.

    • And who do the commercial interests serve? BTW isn’t Westport Pizza a commercial interest? Dan runs one of these “oh me oh my what has happened to downtown” threads every so often. Same complaints, but absolutely no understanding of the economic dynamics. It is just fun to whine.

      • If you can’t say something nice about Dan, just turn to your spouse and complain/whine but don’t share it with all of us please.

  8. I remember 25 cents a slice

  9. No need for a smart mouth remark… most people don’t sit around looking at every property transfers..was just curious why you were soo interested.. I dont need to look it up I know them personally

  10. Anonymous.. we must know each other. I ate 25 cent slices till they were coming out of my ears. I had them add a pile of mushrooms on them for another 20 cents.They also make the best gluten free pizza I have ever tasted. I love Mel and his brother Joe I’ll follow them where ever they go. I wish we had pictures of the old downtown.. Ben Franklins, Greenburgs, Mostly I like the changes to downtown.. we have the best stores anywhere…. just ask anyone who lives anywhere else in Fairfield County.(Mary Palmieri Gai)

    • @Mary Gai. I’m sending Dan a photo of Main Street in the late 30s or early 40s. Perhaps he’ll print it for you.

      • Jessie Lenagh

        Hi Gary. Westport changes, but as long as the WTC keeps going, some good things remain. Since Leila (mummy) left, I hardly ever go back…. I remember Country Gal, The Sport Mart, Kleins, The Remarkable (truly remarkable) the shoe store that had the red vinyl seats and a zoo theme complete with s cage for kids!

  11. I remember the day Westport Pizzeria opened! I was there!!! Like Mary I too remember the slices for 25 cents and they were so large they hung off the paper plates they were served on. We used to go to downtown Westport almost on a daily basis from Weston High to have a slice of pizza. Now I fly from Arizona to visit and I always stop in to see Mel & Joe and eat that great pizza!!! I guess if they move, I will find them when I come back home next fall for my pizza fix! LOL
    Cyndi Antonio Crabbe

  12. Just to clarify, sally’s is still there?

  13. Know matter where they move I will still stop by when in town as it is the best pizza around !!! Janice

  14. my mouth is watering. I desperately need a slice and a coke. And maybe one more slice would be nice.

  15. Mary–when you say that, on Main Street, “we have the best stores anywhere,” how are you defining or characterizing “best?” My educated guess is that your parents and their friends did shopping on Main Street on a more regular basis and for more diverse items/reasons than you and your friends/peers do (because there appeared to be a greater mix of stores/services back then).

    My question for you–since I know you’re in real estate: why have towns with similar residential demographics to Westport–Darien, New Canaan, Rye–been able to maintain a greater mix of shops (with more mom & pops) in the heart of their downtowns.

    Is it because Westport has a much larger workforce in town (and therefore a larger base of shoppers in town) that is more interested in certain types of shops/services downtown.

    Is it because Westport’s Main Street has long been considered more of a regional shopping district–that is, more similar to a mall– than those towns (and, if so, how did it first establish that reputation)? Thanks.

  16. I miss the times before pizza was invented. It was so much better then, pizza has ruined it all.

  17. BOOHOO SNIFF…anyone bored with downtown can open a mom&pop or whatnot on Main St….across the bridge Art’s came back…maybe if you wish really hard, Soup’s On will come back…

  18. Guess I’ll have to go carve my initials in the new place.

  19. Poor Westport. Don’t they know there’s no reason to go if what’s there is everywhere. The Remarkable, Carousel, Kleins, etc. may have been a bit overpriced and full of themselves, but they were different. The only place I would look forward to visiting on Main Street today is Westport Pizzeria. That’s not just nostalgia talking either–the pizza tastes good, even if we do go through a boat load of napkins soaking up all the oil. If they leave, however, Westport will just be cookie-cutter-ville.