Merry Christmas From … The Clam Box?!

Westporter Victoria Kann — author and illustrator of the Pinkalicious series — gave JP Vellotti a very interesting Christmas ornament:

Clam Box Christmas ornament

Westporters of a certain vintage recognize it immediately. The Clam Box was a Westport institution for decades, on the Post Road near the Exit 18 connector. Today, it’s Bertucci’s.

This trip down memory lane raises interesting questions: Were these ornaments a custom, back in the day? Did other Westport restaurants hand them out too? Does anyone have one from La Normandie? Cafe Barna? The Townly?

No? Well, okay. How about one from Bertucci’s?

11 responses to “Merry Christmas From … The Clam Box?!

  1. David Schafffer

    If someone has a similar ornament from Big Top I may want to bid!

  2. I have one from the Clam Box from probably the 1950s. It’s completely different than this. It is silver and very faded. It says Clam Box in two places, Merry Christmas, has a picture of the restaurant itself, and says something Post Road, and something under that that I cannot read. It’s on my live tree right now. I have a little box it is stored in, which I assume was the original box. The box is red.

  3. Sharon Paulsen

    Wow, that is really nifty. I had great memories of eating at Clam Box as a kid in the 70’s. These posts take me down memory lane!
    Barbara, it would be fun if you could take a pic if your ornament and post it here!

  4. Cool! I ate there a couple times…I’m with David, I would rather have one from Big Top…Tater Up!

  5. Linda Gramatky Smith

    Are you sure you ate at the Clam Box in the 70s, Sharon? I graduated in 1960 and I’m sure it was long gone then. I could be wrong, but the loss of this wonderful restaurant from the 50s is much lamented! Like Barbara, I only remember going there as a young kid, not in high school.

    • Linda, I’m pretty sure it was there all through the ’60s, and on into the early ’70s too.

      • According to Doris Gross Nussbaum, whose father ran The Clam Box, “In 1985, the Westport and Cos Cob Clam Boxes were sold to the Marketing Corporation of America, and we all retired. We had a good run for sure — 48 years.”

    • Sharon Paulsen

      Yup, my parents brought me there several times. I was young, but not too young to remember my Dad asking me what type of clam chowder I wanted … “white, or red” (New England or Manhattan), LOL! I was learning the nuisances of seafood ordering … probably at the tender age of, say, 5-ish? And it was my first experience with putting “oyster crackers” in the soup. (As a kid, I thought it was strange – I mean, dried out bits of crackers called “oyster”?? … but went along with it, wanting to copy the adults, ha!
      And I do recall loving it when Dad would say “wanna go to the Clam Box?”.
      The main dining area was casual and very “Nantucket” – wood tables, overly shellacked in a marine style, red and white checkered plastic place mats (or maybe whole table cloths – not sure), the whole bit. Funny what one remembers from early childhood! This blog topic really stirred up the ‘ol memory pot, so to speak.
      Thanks for asking!