Shop Till You Drop

You know all that downtown-bashing that Westporters love?

We’re wrong.

According to the September issue of Connecticut Magazinein which the editors offer dozens of “Best of Connecticut” picks, in hopes of selling more ads providing interesting content — Westport is one of the state’s 3 “Destination Shopping” towns.

“When is a mall not a mall?” Connecticut asks. And then answers:

When it’s a lovely Main Street with parking along the great wide Saugatuck.

Not a mall at all.

Along with usual suspects like J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Williams Sonoma, Chico’s Gap and Coach (and lovable stalwarts Max’s Art Supply, Oscar’s Deli and Sally’s Place, there are plenty of new kids on the block — Benefit Cosmetics, Nike, Kate Spade, West Elm and Theory.

On surrounding streets there are BOC winners Dovecote, Soleil Toile and newbie Urban Outfitters.

Speaking of which, the latter’s mother company URBN obviously finds lots to like in Westport: Up the Post Road a piece you’ll find two of their other properties, Anthropologie and totally gorgeous new home-and-garden store (an inadequate description if we’ve ever seen one) Terrain.

“Totally goregous” Terrain.

The other 2 “Destination Shopping” towns — Guilford and West Hartford — get equally gushing reviews.

“Best of Connecticut” also gives category shout-outs to these Westport spots:

  • Bakery:  Sono Baking Company
  • Fish and chips:  Mansion Clam House (“Still the go-to place for local seafood lovers”)
  • Muffins: Aux Delices
  • Munchies:  Trader Joe’s
  • Mussels:  The Whelk  (“Delish — and pure bliss”)
  • Raising the bar:  Spotted Horse  (“We can’t help wondering: Where did these throngs of people hang out before?”)

  • Side dish (escarole):  Pane e Bene
  • Salad bar:  Whole Foods
  • Chop salad:  The Dressing Room
  • Hair salon:  Phillip Bruce
  • Jewelry (eclectic):  Dovecote
  • Lingerie:  Soleil Toile
  • Toy store: Age of Reason
  • Consignment shop (clothing):  DLC
  • Boutique (teens):  Urban Outfitters
  • Men’s clothing:  Mitchells (“A Westport icon since 1958”)
  • Men’s ties:  Vineyard Vines

Congratulations to every winner.

But if you’ve read all the way through, shame on you.

Why aren’t you out shopping — preferably downtown, on our “lovely Main Street with parking along the great wide Saugatuck”?

12 responses to “Shop Till You Drop

  1. Cry Me A River

    Great. Another post and opportunity for people to tear apart Downtown Westport and proclaim the end of Main Street as we know it.


  2. Wait till the DMA Downtown Merchants Association gets their wish to install parking meters or some other form of TAX on Main Street. Why do we even listen to these self serving money grubbing non residents. Give me a break!

  3. And it is only going to get better. The potential of the new WCi, 6 new restaurants, Pinkberry, the redevelopment of the Post Office, the new building going up at 100 Post Road East, Greenfield Partners redevelopment of the West Bank, and to cap it all off, the much anticipated redevelopment of the YMCA by the guy that brought us Urban, The Spotted Horse, Patagonia, Pink Sumo (opening in Oct where Manolo used to be), and much more. Metering is a great way for the downtown 20/20 group to create needed revenue to allow a parking garage to be built on the Elm Street lot which would enable them to build new sidewalks, better street lighting, a greener Parker Harding with less parking, better garbage collection points, new benches, trees, landscaping and much much more.

    Also, don’t forget a new Levitt and Library to cap it off. Westport is #1 and will be for a long, long time to come.

    Good for us!

    • Westport Convert

      I agree with you, Karen. But there are certain purists in this town who are not open to change and forward progress. They violently fight against it whenever possible. It is kind of sad.

      I understand the “small town” feel but I personally do not feel the stores dictate that. The “small town” feel is determined by the community culture. So what if there’s a chain store in town? Heaven forbid.


    • A new Library?

    • Well, I think Karen’s vision of meters and garages is the future all the swells desire. Good to see it an black and white and stated with such emphatic pride. I eagerly await the traffic study that wraps this whole mess in the fish wrap it deserves. P&Z, are you made of the right stuff to live up to your election promises? We shall see.

      BTW – why is it any resident’s interest other than a handful of property owners to increase traffic density downtown? Everyone else’s quality of life should suffer so that they can increase the value of their already lucrative and highly sought after square footage? Let ’em work with what the they got, and stop changing the rules simply because they ask.

      • Right, the property owners want to make downtown so unpleasant no one goes there. That makes sense.

      • I haven’t shopped on Main Street in 20 years, maybe longer. Too user unfriendly (parking) and over the top expensive. I prefer online buying myself. Let all the young ‘uns with the big bucks figure it all out. As for dining, we eat out a lot but never downtown…we’re periphery folks.


    ^ thought this link would be helpful to people. But Dan is right.


  5. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  6. Hopefully all of these wonderful businesses on Main Street will remember to cool the areas outside their businesses during the summer!