Shake Shack Seeks Shots

It’s a popular parlor game:  trying to name all the places that once tried to do business at the site of the soon-to-open Shake Shack (across from the now-closed Toys R Us).

Perhaps the 98th time is the charm? (Photo courtesy of Westport Patch)

Most recently it was Pho Mekong, a Vietnamese place.  In previous incarnations it was a Mongolian restaurant, a seafood spot, a Beefsteak Charlie’s — or was it Steak & Brew?  The mind boggles.

“06880” — and the readers who frequently ask me to remember all the long-closed restaurants — are not the only interested parties.

Here’s a request from Dave Yearwood, Shake Shack general manager:

Does anyone know what was at the new Shake Shack site at 1849 Post Rd East, Westport?  We are trying to find out if there was a business, farm or house on the property before the 1950’s, turn of the century, etc.

We know that  Old Sasco Mill was on one side, and the other side was the Benjamin F. Bulkley House.  However, we are not sure if our space was once a part of either of those properties.  Please let me know:


If you’ve got photos, I’m sure Dave would love to have them.  And please copy “06880” — I’d also like an answer to this very popular question.

13 responses to “Shake Shack Seeks Shots

  1. John McCarthy

    Beefsteak Charlies.

  2. Dan – Is there something more specific than “soon to open?”

  3. Kim Crowther Manning

    When I moved to Westport in 1971 one of my very first friends, Katie O’Connor, lived in the Benjamin Bulkley house on the corner of Bulkley Ave. and the Post Road, behind which was John the Blacksmith’s shop. Katie’s mom is still alive and I believe she lived there for quite a number of years prior to 1971 and may have the answer (and maybe photos). I will see if I can reach Katie and hopefully get some info.

  4. I don’t know who owned it but you can get some pretty cool comparative aerial photos of the place at:

    In a related note, I hadn’t realized Shake Shack was opening so far from the beach. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed.

  5. Before it was Beefsteak Charlies it was Steak ‘n Brew, owned by Longchamps. I worked there during the summer circa ’69-’70 with Murray Rosenberg, Booty Eckle and Lynn Backalenick, among others. I have no idea what occupied the site before that, if anything.

    • Westport Expat

      I loved going to Steak ‘n Brew as a kid because the doggie bags were little boxes; I’d use them for brown bagging lunch to school until they were in tatters. Too young at the time for the brew, though.

  6. My dad owned La Normandie, next to Rocco’s for 14 years. I used to play as a child with Emily and Michelle Petretta and when we got older, we went to work peeling galic and shrimp for the restaurants. When we were not helping our parents, we went to the mini golf course and the bowling alley.

  7. Bobbie Herman

    I’m pretty sure there was a restaurant called “Tallulah’s” where the Shake Shack is being built. It was a hamburger sort of place, about 1985 or so. The thing I remember most of all is that they used old Coke bottles as salt and pepper shakers (with new perforated tops).

    I really don’t remember much about the quality of the food, but I must have liked it, because I went back a few times.

  8. Pumpernickel Pub

  9. Northern Belle

    Thirty-five years ago, today, my husband and I met at Beefsteak Charlies. He was the bartender, and it was my first night as a server. I had originally been scheduled to start on Monday, the 9th, but the restaurant closed due to Hurricane Belle. So, we ended up meeting on Friday the 13th — a date we now consider especially auspicious.

    We now live in Alaska, but return when we can to visit family in New England. Perhaps next time we’ll buzz by some of our nostalgic old Westport haunts. In the meantime, I’ll swing by this site from time to time. Thanks for being here.