Redding Roadhouse Blues

Nearly 2 years ago, “06880” meandered north — up Route 53, past Devil’s Den  and the Saugatuck Reservoir — for a story on the Redding Roadhouse.

Staples grads Colleen Cook Stonbely and Wirt Cook were 2 of the 4 new owners. The others were Wirt’s wife Karen, and Colleen’s husband Ted (who would have been a Stapleite, had he not been shipped off to the Gunnery).

The proud owners of the Redding Roadhouse (from left): Ted Stonbely, Colleen Cook Stonbely, Karen Cook and Wirt Cook.

The proud owners of the Redding Roadhouse (from left): Ted Stonbely, Colleen Cook Stonbely, Karen Cook and Wirt Cook.

The quartet had big plans. The place definitely rocked, with music from local favorites (and owners’ friends) Dylan Connor, Mark Mollica and Merritt Jacob. 

But this Saturday night (May 14) marks the end of the Roadhouse. Today, the owners announced that they have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease with their landlords.

“The unfortunate results,” the Roadhouse team wrote, “are the closure of a small business, the demise of an iconic restaurant and Redding landmark, and, most importantly, the loss of 30 jobs.”

The Redding Roadhouse

The Redding Roadhouse

The owners worked closely with the community, partnering with the Mark Twain Library, local schools and other organizations. They raised money for good causes, and bought from local farms and artisan businesses.

They’ll open at 4 p.m. for the rest of the week for a less-than-happy Happy Hour. When they close, remaining inventory will be donated to the Connecticut Food Bank and other area pantries.

Westport’s Dylan Connor plays his final gig on Saturday.

It’s a sad day for Redding, the Roadhouse — and the 4 great owners. But you can’t keep good young folks down. They’ll be heard from again.

Selfishly, I hope their next venture is right here in their hometown.



7 responses to “Redding Roadhouse Blues

  1. Dreadful occurrence – will be seriously missedl

  2. Matt Murray

    I have memories of it being called “B2” or “Bachelors 2” in the late seventies. Talk about a rockin’ place. Many friends’ bands would play there. I tilted a few adult beverages there, too.

  3. When I lived in Redding – 1976 thru 1990 the Road house was the place to go to for lunch with the girls and dinners. (Oh wait, it was a great bar with dancing bands on saw dust floors till some time) So sorry, there’s not much for those residents who don’t want to drive far!

  4. Dennis Jackson

    Before the menu changes we were regulars, and now feel badly for the new owners. However, we much preferred the heartier menu that was tried and true for so many years.

  5. Of course this is a greedy move. But
    If you made this wonderful place, with
    Your buoyant fortitude you’ll create
    Another delight !!! This one thing I know for sure, when it feels like it’s the end,
    It’s the beginning of adventure .
    But I do wish we could place a time
    Bubble over Redding and all that land, that world I loved so much.

  6. Steve Stein

    We loved going to the Blue Parrot- then it closed.

    Westport still needs an evening club type restaurant to take its place- good food, good music and a dance floor!! Maybe the Redding Road House folk could move to Westport and use that still unoccuoied empty space!!

  7. Eric Pearson

    The B2 was the best juke joint around, “Home of the Twinkies.”, and some of us occasionally even lived upstairs. Our 1st and last gigs were there with volumes of outrageous joy in between. I shall raise a few tonight in melancholy remembrance.