How’s Business?

Bill Brown and his cronies were trying to guess the oldest surviving business in town.

Bill guessed Beacon Electronics — but then realized it closed last year after a 60-year run.

Someone suggested Carvel — definitely a cool choice.

Boccanfuso has been around since 1957, though not at the same Post Road East location (near, coincidentally, Carvel).

Bill — who worked at the Westport Food Center on Main Street in the 1960s, which most definitely is not still in business — asked “06880” to name the oldest surviving business in town.

We punted.

What does “oldest surviving business in town” mean?

Is it the place that’s been in one spot the longest?  If so, the answer is probably a gas station.

Is it the place that’s been in one spot the longest — with the same owner?  That might be Westport Pizzeria or Mario’s?

What about Oscar’s, which is almost where it started in the 1950s — just a few doors down?

While Mitchells is in its 3rd location, it’s still on the Post Road.  And it’s on its 3rd generation of owners — that counts for something, right?

Does the Red Barn count?  It’s served diners on Wilton Road for over 50 years — but didn’t it close briefly before the Nisticos took over?

Feel free to nominate your own “oldest surviving business in town.”  Clink the “Comments” link at the top or bottom of this post — and include your definition of the term.

The Red Barn seems to have been around since before there were cameras. (Drawing by Sascha Maurer/Courtesy of

29 responses to “How’s Business?

  1. Max’s Art Supply is in the same location for 54+ years…

  2. LH Gault????

  3. Compo Barber Shop.
    One owner. One location. Hundreds of neighbors!

  4. Larry Perlstein

    How about the Liquor Locker or Achorn Pharmacy? Funny how we all lament over the places missing from Westport past but so easily forget about the places that have survived.

  5. Mario’s was called the West Tuck many years ago. My mother’s cousin owned it.

  6. Viva Zapata – in business since 1969

  7. By “business”, I would assume the definition includes all businesses and not just retail. My vote is-as someone has suggested–Gaults; a family business of Westport established in the 1860s and still going strong.

  8. Me Too – for Gault. I thought of it immediately when I read the blog.

  9. Psychosomatic Constipation

    Christie’s General Store. Definition: Same name, same place, different owners

  10. I was going to say Klein’s or Westport Pizza. But Gault’s or Christie’s seem better guesses!

  11. Westport Train Station 🙂

  12. Kowalsky Brothers, general contracting
    Top Quality Service Since 1945

  13. Does a school count as a business? How long has the YMCA been around? How long have there been lifeguards at compo?

  14. Minuteman Cleaners has been in the same location for >50 years I believe

  15. The Dude Abides

    Merritt Superette is the oldest business in Westport. Definition: Same name, same location, open 24-7.

    • Larry Perlstein

      Sorry, I’ve got to disagree with this one … first, it isn’t called the Merritt Superette anymore, and it’s certainly not the same store. I used to work there 40 yrs ago. 🙂

      • The Dude Abides

        Larry: Jeez, I used to go there on my walk home in the 1950’s and it sure looks the same to me. Still has that musty smell and still unable to turnaround in there. But if you need something, they got it. Didn’t know it had a different name.
        Me bad.

  16. Tim Caffrey

    The oldest surviving business PASSING through town has to be the bar car on Metro North. Am I wrong?

  17. From their modest beginning in Westport as a cut-flower business established in 1922, Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens still remains a family business.

  18. The Dude Abides

    Is there a winner here?????