Downtown Westport rocked tonight like it hasn’t in years.
An opening-night party for the Spotted Horse — the new restaurant in the 210-year-old Sherwood House on Church Lane — drew a wall-to-wall, out-the-door crowd.
If they come back when the Champagne and food isn’t free — which they undoubtedly will — that crowd will transform downtown.
The Spotted Horse fills a gaping hole there: a restaurant with a great but casual menu; an enormous and inviting bar; a killer sound system; warm decor — plus outdoor seating.
Until I walked in — and was embraced by the welcoming ambience — I didn’t realize exactly what’s been missing downtown for years.
Owners Kevin McHugh and Tommy Febbraio are Staples grads. They’re experienced restaurateurs — but this is their 1st Westport venture. They know they have to do it right. And they will.
The Spotted Horse will draw folks downtown again, breathing life into a district that was gasping for it. Other downtown restaurants — Bobby Q’s, Tavern on Main, etc. — need not worry.
As they say at the nearby Saugatuck River: A rising tide lifts all boats.