Arrividerci, Abbondanza

If you are among the many people who love Abbondanza and Bonda, you’ve got a few hours left.

Today is the last day of business for the popular Charles Street specialty food store; the restaurant’s last meal will be served tonight.

The building is on the market, said Jamie Cooper, who has owned the Saugatuck favorites since 2001.

The good news:  He hopes to sign a lease next week for Bonda in Fairfield.  The target date for reopening is June.

“People are sad to see us go,” he said this morning.  “I’m excited about moving on, and I’m deeply thankful to all our loyal customers.  Everyone here loves you.

“I know you adore my staff.  We all hope to see you in Fairfield soon.”

17 responses to “Arrividerci, Abbondanza

  1. Carl A. Swanson

    Use to be a gas station (wow there were really a lot more gas stations back when) at that site. Connecticut limo used to stop there and if you couldn’t get the one to the “Westport Inn”, that was the spot for all the college kids came to flying home (some did) in the 60’s. Nice eating place though. On the “heavy” side as to $$$.

  2. This is a real loss — I will miss Bonda!

  3. John McCarthy

    Gap Saugatuck coming?

  4. Sad that another good eatery in Westport is leaving to re-locate in a nearby town presumably offering better prospects for economic success?

  5. Dan:

    I agree with Maggie. You would think with our demographics this town would be overflowing with variety. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions like Le Farm, the excitement in dining out is happening in places around us like Norwalk, Fairfield and Bridgeport while we just get another pizza joint and the same old stale restaurant formulas.

    I suspect the high rents in Westport are driving out these low profit margin businesses to other towns. The decline in nightlife here is probably also a contributing factor.

  6. The Dude Abides

    Despite the slumping/rising economy, a local liquor distributor tells me that new restaurants in the area are doing quite well based on his sales and certainly locals are drinking far more booze than before. And thus, making the profit margin secure for eateries.

  7. Lunching with a friend in Darien on Friday she announced to a group of us that they are getting 8 or 9 (yes!) new restaurants….either old places that have been shuttered and are re-opening or new names in existing spots…wonder what the rent structure is like in Darien compared to Westport? The loss of Abondanza/Bonda to Fairfield is a blow to the Westport restaurant scene. Great spot, fantastic service.

  8. The restaurants in Darien are mediocre at best…. Don’t be fooled by any boasting Darienite… A real one will tell you they go to Westport Sono Stamford or New Canaan to dine… On the other hand Westport has not been ripe for the dinning crowd either… With the exception of a few… Rents are winning the battle to go elsewhere…

  9. Normally Rich, I would agree with you completely re Darien dining! I use the example as math for what IS NOT happening here…Westport long known for dining, Le Farm a stand-out for us, but wer’re losing good stuff to to our neighboring towns…New Canaan just re-built and widened (by removing one-side of on-street parallel parking) the stretch of brick sidewalk in front of Cava and voila they have outdoor dining and a much more compelling streetscape.

    • You are correct I sadly think our standout places are as good or better than any towns but Westport has been slow ie pz and other town agencies to work with or improve the climate

  10. The Dude Abides

    Who the hell cares whether you have to drive to Darien or Fairfield to get a decent dinner out? Jeez, everyone acts like it is a competition between towns on who has the best restaurants?
    Oh, I forgot, we are very special.

    • Sorry Dude but it is… It’s all about bragging rights and what defines the towns… Sadly and very funny when Darien plays New Canaan they chant landlocked… Amongst other things… It’s not about having Togo elsewhere but what is in your backyard

  11. The Dude Abides

    Pretty junior highish, if you ask me. I should think in this day and age that people would place value on other things besides “bragging rights” and it certainly doesn’t define the Westport I grew up in or live. While competition is good, some of the remarks at Staples-New Canaan games have gotten downright ugly. Actually I am surprised Darien comes into the picture with restaurants at all because they have made it very clear from their downtown that they “don’t cotton to strangers.” My in-laws live there and when blasted on their downtown and beaches, they reply: “We like it that way.” So maybe you are right, Mr. Stein. But as long as we have Mario’s, I am happy.

  12. Innocent Bystander

    Maybe Darien has the right idea? Who wants a bunch of tourists trappling down our lilies?
    Who wants that kind of bragging rights? Some of us remember the ole Clam Box that brought people as far as New York City to our fair town. Cops had a field day with giving out tickets to speeders or towing cars. Crappy food too.

  13. Addison Fletcher

    Mr. Stein: I am amazed that residency in this great town has reverted to “bragging rights” on what caliber of restaurants we have here. My Westport is “defined” by the soup kitchens we have for the homeless, the compassion and focus we show to our elderly, the finest recreational facilities and programs in New England, a brand of celebrity that resides here that gives back to the town instead of only liking its zip code and a school system that prides itself in its education. My perception of your Westport is one of those running stop signs, driving in 40 degree weather with their convertible tops down shaded by the fashionable sun glasses they wear in the clouds of spring or those enraptured on their market value of their house which is not a home but purely an investment. My definition of Westport, coming from over 60 years of living in this fair town breeds PRIDE. You can have your childish bragging rights!!

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