A New Slice Of Saugatuck — Update

NOTE:  This story has been updated, to include information on all 22 restaurants and caterers participating.  Comments questioning the lack of participation of certain restaurants have been removed, as those restaurants will be represented.

It hasn’t created much buzz — yet.

It’s not Festival Italiano.

But a “Slice of Saugatuck” festival scheduled for September 17 may draw many Westporters down to that old, diverse, now rapidly redeveloping neighborhood.

The Westport News reports that the event — organized by RTM member and area resident Matthew Mandell — will include food from 22 restaurants and caterers,  from Riverside and and Railroad Place out to Saugatuck Avenue; wine from Grain and Grape and Saugatuck Wine & Spirits; kayak rides at Downunder; fly fishing lessons at Westport Outfitters, and tours of the Saugatuck fire station.

September is a perfect time for a festival near the Saugatuck River. (Photo by Bobbi Liepolt)

At the same time, word on the street — Riverside Avenue — is that Doc’s Cafe will close at the end of October.  One door closes, another opens, as my Italian grandmother used to say (if I had one), but losing what is arguably Westport’s funkiest “coffeehouse” is the yin to Slice of Saugatuck’s yang.

For Westporters who can’t (or won’t) venture across the bridge to the Slice event — or for anyone into street fairs — here’s another bit of news:  Blues, Views and BBQ returns to the Levitt Pavilion September 24-25.

Sure, it’s clunkily named.  But the annual event — featuring, this year, music from Otis and the Hurricanes, River City  Slim and the Zydeco Hogs, and the Westport Heritage Blues Band starring Charlie Karp and Crispin Cioe (plus many others), and lots of mouth-watering food —  has become an early fall, not-to-be-missed downtown staple.

On consecutive weekends next month we’ll celebrate one festival in a traditional Italian neighborhood, then another honoring the decidedly un-Westport (but very welcome) traditions of blues and barbecue.

They say the 3rd time’s the charm.  Anyone ready to resurrect the Apple Festival?

27 responses to “A New Slice Of Saugatuck — Update

  1. Fairfield's Defense

    Yes, please bring back the Apple Fest!! Great memories for me at this annual fall event at Staples!!

  2. Charlie Haberstroh

    Also don’t forget the Longshore Golf Benefit and Golf Ball Gala at Longshore on September 22, both fundraisers to raise money to build a new halfway house and clubhouse on Longshore Park!

    • The Dude Abides

      Why do you need a $330,000 hot dog stand at the 9 1/2 hole??? Please tell me that Charlie???? When you do, I will tell you why we need a new driving range instead.

  3. Also on the busy September calender: the Friends of Sherwood Island’s September 9th Shorefest, the lobster dinner, silent auction fundraiser that helps support the Sherwood Island Nature Center

  4. Please visit http://www.westportd1.com/saugatuck and see the full list of participants. All the restaurants mentioned in the comments are participating, many are actually sponsors of the event.

    Should be a great time folks, come on down and Walk the Slice!!!!

    Westport News article http://www.westport-news.com/default/photo/A-view-of-Saugatuck-from-the-intersection-of-1291403.php

    Matthew Mandell – RTM D1

  5. Charlie Haberstroh

    I’m not sure who “The Dude Abides” is; he knows who I am. I have said that the half way house will be value engineered which means that I doubt the cost will be in excess of $200k — I hope less. The point is upgrade both the halfway house and club house. If you think that the current properties are sufficient and represent the town well, don’t contribute. If you believe, as I do, that we have substandard facilities, then please help.

    • The Dude Abides

      I have no idea who you are Charlie and don’t particularly care. If it is “my way or the highway” in regard to a half-way house (LMGA projection at $330,000) and/or clubhouse, so be it. But, as a former PGA teaching pro, I can tell you that the driving range is a disgrace. And any true golfer will tell you that you can really judge a golf course by its practice facilities. If you would prefer an overpriced hot dog and a classy shower room over the ability to hit a fairway wood off grass, I question your priorities and knowledge of the game?

  6. Glad that you liked my photo well enough to use in your blog. Guess you took it off the exit 17 facebook page. How about a photo credit?

  7. Charlie Haberstroh

    I agree the driving range is a disgrace, but are the two issues connected? We need all three. The half way house will not come in at $330k.

    • The Dude Abides

      If you can raise 200K+ for the structures, why not apply it to a good practice facility instead??? The clubhouse is adequate and a vast improvement over what it used to be at the maintenance shack down the road. I suggested to the LMGA that a joint venture with a restaurant chain would be far more prudent that money spent on a glorified hot dog stand. As to the Veteran’s comment (below) Longshore has and will continue to be one of the best assets of this town. People actually buy homes here because of its faciities. Any upkeep or improvement is hardly a waste of money especially when it is private funds we are discussing.

  8. Stop wasting citizens money on the friggin golf course.

  9. The Dude vs Charlie. Very entertaining.

    Anywho… God love Cooper, but no PGA teaching pro in their right mind can defend the current “clubhouse” as a welcoming environment to promote golf. It is a losing battle.

    If the town won’t take proper care of its most valuable asset, the paying public should (and will).

    I’m still not sure why that is controversial?

  10. The Dude Abides

    The issue is one of priorities. I am not sure you can rebuild the clubhouse at its present site without further prohibiting any future enlargement of a decent driving range/practice area. Further, can you raise enough money for all three? I doubt it in these times. Talk to Jackie Burke in Houston about a “welcoming environment” for golf. He built Champions out in the boondocks with just a pro shop and it became a tour stop. Golfers are concerned about the course and a place to practice and NOT what’s to eat after 9 holes and where they can take a shower.

  11. Fairfield Guy

    Dude, your point of the Longshore driving range is a good one and I see it perfectly reasonable for you to question Charlie. However, Charlie and the rest of the Longshore playing folk have chose these two projects as their priority. This is not a local TPC course looking to draw players from all over with money practice facilities. It is a local track that needs upgrading of its buildings. Not looking to antagonize you, but i suggest you be a part of the solution by getting involved in the planning of this project or step aside an allow those that are involved in the solution to proceed. Carry on Charlie. Looking forward to thy hot dog at the turn. Perhaps I can play in Dude’s foursome since I am no longer a resident!

  12. The Dude Abides

    Thanks for your input, Fairfield Guy. But you don’t have to be a resident to play at Longshore any more. Rounds played were down two years ago and thus, they opened it up to non-residents. I respect the vigor of Charlie and his cohorts. I love the course and have played there since 1960. But as I see it, if they are going to raise 200+ thousand, buy a couple of beverage carts and do away with the half way house altogether (all it really does is slow down play anyhow). Doll up the clubhouse so Coop can sell some clothes and the chosen few can lounge around smoking cigars after their match and put the rest in the driving range. If you have any extra, toughen up the course with about 20 bunkers. There is a solution instead of “my ball, my way” on a town owned property. If I raise the money for a half-way whore house, am I free to do anything I wish????????

  13. Charlie Haberstroh

    We can have a separate discussion on the golf course at anytime, the point of Dan’s article is The Slice of Saugatuck Festival and Blues, Views, and BBQs. Both of those are and will be terrific Westport Events and are worthy of strong community support.

    I hope the fundraiser for Longshore on September 22nd draws strong support from the golf community and the larger Westport community as well. Those like The Dude Abides should feel free to attend the 9 1/2 Hole Halfway House Committee meetings and express their views. All are welcome.

  14. The Dude Abides

    So you want to control the blog as well as the money?? So be it. But ask the folks at Patterson and Aspetuck what happens when you take your focus off the golf course facilities.
    You gonna have a band & dancing at your gala, Charlie????

  15. I’d like to think 06880 helped give Matt the great idea….

    David Loffredo | April 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    There’s probably a better way to do this festival – re cast it into something more street fair/foodie event, and less of a carnival in a parking lot. Perhaps since there is such a concentration of restaurants along Riverside Ave and Railroad Place we could close a bunch of roads, have all the restaurants spill out onto the street, and use Luciano Park for some fun kids games. Smaller, more simple, collect donations for the Sons of Italy. You could keep it off of 33 so the train traffic would be rerouted, and perhaps take it up as high as the Bridge to get those businesses involved as well.

    Dan Woog | April 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    Spectacular idea. Is there a second?

  16. Charlie Haberstroh

    Not at all. I am not running any of the three. So comment as you wish, but I wanted to bring the comments back to Dan’s original thoughts. Further it is not my gala. I happen to be on both committees involved in raising money for the Park. The gala will benefit the Longshore Park and is a work in progress. Expectations are for a band or D-Jay and anyone who wants to dance, can. It is designed as a community event to have fun. Stay tuned…

  17. The Dude Abides

    Well, if it is anything like the Longshore 50th Anniversary party, I will be there along with about 20 folks who love to dance. I am not pulling your chain, Charlie. I want the best for the golf course and appreciate your efforts. We differ on priorities however.

  18. What ever happens to the golf coarse, I hope we don’t loose the mulberry tree at the turn. A little arborist $cash$ could save one of the best trees on the coarse. atleast the best tree on the back nine! Proabably the coarse. From a pomological standpoint it is the #1 tree on the coarse. hands down……

    • William F. Chelsey

      Bet to differ but the maple by the 7th green is one of the most fantastic trees one can imagine. What I would like to see changed, it that racid odor from the dumpster as you walk along the corridor to the driving range. My God, it stinks!!!

  19. Charlie Haberstroh

    Amen to that!