Bye, Bye Bertucci’s

For years, Westport Sunrise Rotary met at Bobby Q’s. When they needed bigger digs, they moved to Bertucci’s.

Earlier this month, Bobby Q’s announced it will close on March 31.

Once again, the Rotarians will need a new spot. At their meeting this morning, they learned the restaurant — a Westport fixture for about 20 years — will close on Wednesday.

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An employee answering the phone this morning said the reason was a failure to come to an agreement with the landlord.

The Westport location is the only one in the chain that will close.

There is no word on what will replace the family-friendly Italian restaurant. Longtime Westporters remember the location as the site of the long-running, much-loved Clam Box — and after that, briefly, Tanglewoods.

Sorry - voting is limited to current restaurants only.

 

43 responses to “Bye, Bye Bertucci’s

  1. Berticcis in Danbury clsed last year before the holidays. We miss it. It was a favorite spot

  2. Dan – Looks like another one bites the dust.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. LOVED The Clam Box!!!! Used to go there all the time with my grandparents in the 70’s. We really need a good no nonsense fish restaurant in Westport.

  4. Amazing the septic didn’t do them in first!!

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  5. Was Tanglewoods really there “briefly”? I would have thought it was there about 20 years as well. How long was The Clam Box in that location?

  6. Dan, Bertucci’s in Danbury on Newtown Road also closed in the last week. Ron Holtz Westport Sunrise Rotary-Membership Chair Sent from my iPhone

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  7. I think the respective time periods stack up like this:

    Clam Box: 1950-1981
    Tanglewoods (wasn’t MCA involved?): 1981-1992
    Bertucci’s: 1992-2016

    At 24 years Bertucci’s is second only to the Clam Box in terms of longevity at that spot. I guess it’s just a function of my age, or maybe the fact that it’s a chain of sorts, but I never came to think of Bertucci’s as a Westport establishment. It’s still “that place where the Clam Box used to be” in my mind, although my kids would look at me with blank faces if I used that reference with them.

    • Sharon Paulsen

      You’re not alone in that sentiment Jack! I’ve always thought of that spot as “where The Clam Box used to be”, and I had only been there a few (very memorable) times as a young kid in the 1970’s.

      Also, Allen’s at Compo – same sentiment, however, it lingered a tad bit longer than Clam Box, into my young adulthood.

      Wish they we’re both still there – can you imagine? Would be worth a drive (or even a flight) from anywhere!

      Alas.

  8. Larry weisman

    Bring back the Clam Box

  9. I remember Tanglewoods’s in the ’80’s. We still joke about the $10 appetizer for a plate of ‘potato skins’. I remember the group I was with looked at the plate and then the waiter. And said ‘That’s it?’ (Which was outrageous price for the early ’80’s I personally think it still is if you saw what was on the plate)

  10. Sharon Paulsen

    By the way Dan, thanks for finding/posting this old pic of the Clam Box.
    Childhood memories (and the strange times of the 70’s) come flowing in when I see this image.

    Got any pics of The Big Top per chance?

    • I will search!

      • The current owner of McDonald’s has a picture of Big Top framed. It’s last location was in the side door entrance area just before you get to the registers. Anyone looking for great fish and seafood bisque swing over to Westfair Fish across from Stop and Shop on the Post Rd.
        (Side Note: From what I have read on this blog and other news resources. It’s my understanding, (correct me if I’m wrong) the landlords in the area are making it difficult for business to stay in Westport. They’re 4 businesses that left Westport I found 2 set up shop in Southport near the Southport Post Office and 2 set up in Norwalk.)

  11. Does anyone here have a heart? I bet the comments and digs on here are by members of the Rotary Club themselves. Kind of a shame that there is no sympathy towards the many hardworking individuals of the restaurant. Just looks like a ploy for the Rotary Club to get businesses to come to them. For the people (like myself) who appreciated everything that Bertucci’s of Westport brought, thank you and the restaurant will be missed.

  12. Ah, the Clambox! In August 1960 I was interviewed there by Stan Lorenzen and George Ingham for an English teaching job at Staples. I was mortified that I’d have to eat clams, but I think they had a chicken on hand for me. Big question at the interview was “Would I mind working for a woman?” Well,I thought that was a pretty good idea. Woman turned out to be the one and only V. Louise Higgins the vibrant life and times of the English Department… Never ate at Bertucci’s…– Karl Decker

    • Linda Gramatky Smith

      Since I graduated in 1960, “Mr. Decker”, I never met you but your excellent reputation was legend from then on. I still see “V. Louise” (yes, a fabulous English teacher) in her retirement community in Bridgeport. Still a fascinating woman!

  13. Back in the 70’s all the Staples wrestling teams went to the Clam Box for their year end banquet. Teenage boys that no longer have to make weight are monstrous eaters and the Clam Box provided mountains of food. It was all good and the parents enjoyed it too.

  14. Martha Kirchhof

    I loved the old Clam Box. Sorry Bertuccis is leaving. Hope to heck it’s not another bank!!

    • Or a nail salon or liquor store.

    • I think the space is big enough for a nail salon, a bank branch AND a yoga attire shop.

      • If any potential restauranteurs are our there listening, we would love to see a traditional New England seafood restaurant like The Clam Box, serving, traditional baked, broiled and fried seafood, chowders and a raw bar. Nothing fancy, no tapas, exotic cocktails or trendy stuff. Just great seafood at fair prices. Is this still possible in Westport? I would be a regular.

  15. Abbey MacDonell

    Our family stopped going to Bertuccis years ago due to the fact EVERY time we drove on LOng lots (the road behind the pizza place) there would be multiple staff outside in the street smoking. All the time!! It just grossed us out. Yes, it’s their break and they have the right to do that, but…. It was enough to leave an impression.

    Anyway, viva la Clam Box!!

  16. BEATUS, CARYL

    WESTPORT SORELY NEEDS A GREAT ” ALLEN’S CLAM AND LOBSTER HOUSE” TYPE RESTAURANT . . .THOSE WERE THE DAYS !

    • Sharon Paulsen

      Exactly!

      And Fairfield … And Trumbull … And, well, pick a town … seems all could use an Allen’s/Clam Box type of place!

      I was saying this year’s ago. How many Bistro joints do we really need in Fairfield County?

      Maybe West Fair should take their business model to the next level?

      • It’s better to stay small. Westfair can survive the economic ups and downs better.

        • Sharon Paulsen

          True Wendy – good point!

          But I’d still love to be able to enjoy their caliber of food, casual but amazing, at a sit down place, with views of the water. Pipe dreams, I guess.

          Hell, I’d do it, given the means, but the restaurant biz can be a tough, unforgiving thing to pull off. (I know – my Dad did it … for years … opening and closing, moving, starting over, opening and closing … with great success or great disappointment, depending).

  17. Loved the Clam Box – went there once a week with my parents in the late ’50’s and early ’60’s. I used to love to sit in the “counter area”. I also remember Steve Zakos, who was the owner or manager. Does anyone remember where those outside stairs went (to the left of the entrance on that picture)?

  18. The Clam Box had the best fish & chips. I have many fond memories of celebrating special occasions there with friends and family.

  19. Joyce Barnhart

    The photo reminds me that I thought the Clambox resembled a riverboat, like the one in the movie made from Edna Ferber’s book. I always enjoyed seeing it as I came up to the Post Road on the Connector.

  20. Heather wilson

    We need another Clam Box

  21. I am from the Clam Box Family. There were 3. My husband , Phil Nussbaum
    started in Westport, with Steve Zakos, my father’s partner. Then since Phil was a Hartford boy, # 3 Clam Box opened there and was in Wethersfield (just south of Hartford-off I-91 from 1965-1980. Never thought I would say it, “but I too miss the fish and chips, and baked stuffed sole” I search for similar presentation everywhere I eat.

  22. Wendy Crowther

    I passed by Bertucci’s today and the sign had been removed from the building. Maybe they’re closing sooner than they originally planned??

  23. I was absolutely smitten by the photo! What great diner architecture!

    Nice to read here that the Clam Box was as beautiful inside as out.

    Bring it back!