Remembering Kevin Brawley

Kevin Brawley — the easygoing owner of a number of popular Westport restaurants — died this past weekend. He was 59 years old.

2178700 (1)Kevin was a wrestler at Bedford Junior High and Staples High School (Class of 1973). Later, he and Danny Horelick opened Dunville’s, on Saugatuck Avenue. It quickly became one of Westport’s favorite gathering spots.

Kevin’s next venture was Tavern on Main. Decades later, little has changed from his original vision.

He later opened the River House on Riverside Avenue.

Tavern on MainKevin worked — and enjoyed — long hours at his businesses. He mentored dozens of employees, who themselves went on to own many local restaurants.

Friend, classmate and former wrestling teammate Chip Stephens says:

Kevin will be remembered for his gravelly voice and infectious laugh, his smile and being a host with the most, his huge circle of friends, and his ability to create and run dining and drinking establishments. Two of them still exist after decades — something very rare today.


29 responses to “Remembering Kevin Brawley

  1. Kevin was great guy – his first foray into restaurants was working at Mario’s Place when he was 13!!!! He fell in love with the Saugatuck area and later on opened Dunvilles just down the way. He added a lot to the town and will be missed.

  2. Kevin gave me my first job… I was one of the first dishwashers when D’Villes opened. RIP Kev may your big grin be etched forever in my mind

  3. Lots of memories of times at Dunvilles with Kevin. Sad to hear of his passing.

  4. My brother, Dave, got me my first real job washing dishing at Mario’s when I was 13. Kevin Brawley, Dan Horelik, Danny O’Grady, Doug Dawdy, etc, were waiters and, probably 9 or 10 tens years older than I. Between Kevin, the rest of the waiters, and the kitchen crew it was an instant and hilarious education on all things Westport and beyond. Way, waaaay beyond. Kevin was as crazy as the rest of them, but he always left us laughing and/or incredulous. Over the next 40 years I ran into to Kevin several times a year, at least. Each time, we’d stop and chat. Every conversation was an adventure, with Kevin waxing poetic as only he could. And there always seemed to be a group of old ladies or a priest walking past…… He was a good friend to our family and will be missed. My condolences to his family.

  5. Cindy Habighorst

    I am so saddened to hear of his death. It was always a pleasure to see him at his restaurants. I always got a ” warm hello!”

  6. This was sad news to hear, and how sad for his family. There was so much more ahead for him.. Years ago, Kevin was my Alfa Romeo buddy — it was always a pleasure to see him, and of course, to “talk cars.”

  7. RIP Kevin.

    I was in Tavern on Main one day when the ladies room toilet spilled over and Kevin was kneeling on the floor cleaning up. A female guest who knew him opened the door, saw him, and said: “Kevin, what ARE you doing?”
    Without batting an eye, Kevin replied: “Lisa, contrary to popular opinion, it’s not all booze and broads!”
    He was a quick witted and vey funny guy.

  8. I worked for Kevin and Danny in the early 80s at Dunville’s and love them both as brothers. Great guys to work for and fun to be with. One night, we were hanging out after hours and a good song came on. He commanded us to take all the upended stools off the bar and five guys got up and did a chorus line on the bar. Another time, Hall & Oates cancelled a concert at Longshore and he call the Town hall saying, “Hey, it’s Darryl Hall. Something came up, can we shoot for next week?” and then he hung up with all of us in hysterics. He loved music and he loved his hundreds of friends. I will miss him.
    Mike O’Neill

  9. Rich Doc Ludemann

    I was very sorry to hear of ghe passing of Kevin. He was a great guy a hell of a bar guy

  10. Rest in Peace Kevin with Chuck and Dave, you guys are at the Bar having cocktails now.

  11. Marion Casali

    wow sometime distance seems like nothing but news like this makes London and Westport seem millions of miles away…. Wow I met Kevin way back in the late 70’s and had some amazing laughs and fun then worked for him in the 80’s what a funny quick witted man he was! Always seeing the sunny side of things… I am sad to hear of his early death, I hope he is at peace now what ever the circumstances are RIP Kevin, you made many laugh…x marion

  12. Betty Lou Cummings

    Kevin and his family, Peggy, Art, Sissy & John were all our neighbors on Saugatuck Island……We were friends throughout all his wonderful restaurant’s amazing businesses. We wish all of Kevin’s family our deepest sympathy with love. Betty Lou &Tom and our boys, Mark, Matthew & Todd.

  13. Some things don’t have to said. RIP Brawls.

  14. Cappie (Katherine) Campbell Perras

    I grew up with Kevin on Saugatuck Island. He was part of the huge gang of kids that roamed the island having one adventure after another…water skiing, fishing, football and baseball games, flashlight tag, jumping off the bridge and on and on. Kevin was full of fun and mischief and life. He was a wonderful and caring friend in his adult years to my mother and father, Kay and Mike Campbell. He always made them feel special and cared for when they visited his restaurants. I am hoping that he was met on the “other side” with open arms by my brother Laddie. May Kevin ( or “Angel Face” as my mother called him as a kid) be at peace. My sincere condolences to his family. The news of his death has deeply saddened me.

    • Well said Cappie…well said. I have those same memories of Kevin when we were all kids running around the island.. Sorry to hear of his passing
      Joop Kuhn

  15. I’m so sorry to hear of Kevin’s passing! I first met Kevin when he was a busboy at Marios, way back in the 1970s! I was a waitress at Dameons. He was a great guy, always had a great smile when we would see each other! RIP Kevin!

  16. When Kevin was a little boy he lived in an apartment building named Hudson Gardens located at 2728 Henry Hudson Parkway in Riverdale NY. My cousin Sue Brenner ( a Westport Resident) and I knew Kevin and even then he was very friendly and easy to like. We were both die hard Yankee fans. I remember his father at the time was an editor at Sports Illustrated.So sorry to hear of Kevin’s passing. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

  17. martha pookie miley

    Very sad news. We had so many fun times with Kevin when all of the kids were young. May he finally have found peace. I will remember him always with that great laugh and voice of his.

  18. Great Guy Remember Driving To school in the Willy’s jeep every day freezing our Ass’es off . Always Took care of us when I was in town. Will be Missed!

  19. You were my hosting mentor!

  20. RIP Kevin you will me missed.

  21. Jill Christerson-Lundgren

    I hope you finally find peace my friend, I believe I know what you were going thru and can only hope that your pain is gone.

  22. Steve Naughton

    He was my best friend – I loved him dearly and will miss him sorely. We spoke all the time over the years and last spoke at Thanksgiving……if only we could turn back the clock.

  23. Bennett Fletcher

    A sad day indeed. I ask you all……What would Westport have been like without Kevin?…….”The Mayor of Westport”. While I didn’t have the opportunity of knowing Kevin during HS I had the privilege to meet him about 35 years ago through a close college friend, Bob Mull. . Through Bob, I met many great people from Westport who are still close friends. Kevin was a stand-out; a man with a big heart, extremely witty with a love for good times. He called me “Fletch”. May his memories fill us all with great pride having had the opportunity to enjoy his company. He will be missed by many. We love you Kevin………….Peace

  24. Kevin and I had a number of adventures together. I will miss him. There will be nothing but fond memories. See you around.

  25. Debbie Wansker Dunlap

    So sorry and sad to hear about Kevin. It was always so great to see him. I loved that he came to my first wedding on the wrong day. God bless you Kevin.