Kevin O’Brien Returns To Westport Pizzeria

As promised this morning, Kevin O’Brien — the once-homeless Westport teenager who turned his life around — came back to town today.

One of his dreams was to visit Westport Pizzeria. As noted in an “06880” post earlier this month, Kevin once subsisted on 25-cent slices, not far from “Needle Park” where he spent his nights.

A couple of years ago the pizzeria moved around the corner, from Main Street to the Post Road. But the slices taste the same. And this afternoon, owner Mel Mioli was there to greet Kevin.

Kevin O'Brien (left) and Westport Pizzeria owner Mel Mioli. (Photo/Jack Whittle)

Kevin O’Brien (left) and Westport Pizzeria owner Mel Mioli. (Photo/Jack Whittle)

Kevin is no longer homeless. He’ll spend tonight at the home of an “06880” reader, who reached out to him after reading his story.

Westport has changed a great deal since 1970, when Kevin was a kid.

Some of those changes are great. Others — not so much.

But we’re still a place that draws folks back. And once they’re here, it’s nice to know we still draw them close in.

10 responses to “Kevin O’Brien Returns To Westport Pizzeria

  1. Holly Wheeler

    Welcome home, Kevin !!!

  2. David Schaffer

    Great to read about this, thanks Dan. Indeed Westport does draw people back—I almost always visit at least once a year—and who wouldn’t want to have a slice at Westport Pizzeria?

  3. Elina Lublinsky

    Would be great to hear from him again after this weekend. ..

  4. kathleen brannigan fazio

    I stopped in and had the pleasure if meeting Kevin today. He was sharing pizza and conversation with my brother, Terry Brannigan, Jack Whittle and Jeb Backus. Welcome home Kevin! Great to meet you!

  5. Susan Hopkins

    Welcome Home, Kevin!

  6. Sharon Paulsen

    Wow! Wonderful story Dan, from beginning to end, in your multiple posts.

    I was too young (or perhaps just not exposed?) to understand the situation, trials and tribulations of those like Kevin, and the Needle Park history. I do recall people hanging out there, but had no idea what was going on.

    But, I WAS a Westport Pizza diehard in the eighties, and can I just say, Mioli was a godsend to us teens, regardless of anyone’s particular situation.

    Good stuff!

  7. leslie orofino

    Beautiful story ! Sending Kevin O’Brien congratulations in turning his life around and thanking Mel and Joe of Westport Pizzeria for always being the kindest men in Westport ! Our kids who are now married and have children are 1/2 Westport Pizzeria.

  8. Great to meet you Kevin, and catch up over a few slices of Westport’s finest pizza. Glad you made the time for us. Safe journey.

  9. This has been one of my all time favorite stories of 06880. I hope Kevin had a wonderful day yesterday and felt loved and embraced by his old hometown, however bleak some his youth experience was there. Kevin seemed to rise and make a very good life for himself. Glad he got some love and hugs.