The New Normal

Last night, Andrew Colabella took this haunting photo of Oscar’s.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

The tables are gone. The shelves are empty. There’s an emotional hole on Main Street.

27 responses to “The New Normal

  1. Heartbreaking.



    • Either you are too new to the area… You don’t understand the significance, or you are truly are insensitive to the situation…. The places you name wil not ever have the heart and soul of Westport, Main Street, or the longevity…. Lee and family(workers) were there day in and day out… In Yiddish there is a saying only one tuchus can dance at one party at a time… Those other places are part of a network…. Lee was a lone wolf… In one place putting his love and heart into it… Oscars you ruled

      • Dan…?silence is a virtue… Be virtuous

      • Jeez Dan, get a clue! (or head back South, take your pick.)

        • hi “Dan Miller” you are one of the customers that my dad would say “oh let me buy you lunch today–and then he would do just that–and then he would tell you now please take it to go.”

      • I will miss Oscar’s dearly but I will need to sit somewhere for a nibble and an iced tea. I’ll be going to JR’s on Riverside Avenue and the Organic Market, because both businesses have really nice owner’s & tables inside and out. Hoping to see you Westporter’s there too.

      • Ali Papageorge

        Please leave your shitty comments to yourself.. Go back to New York. My father owned Oscars.. And his loyal customers love him.

        • C’mon. Raising a baby in a in a New York apartment is an unpleasant prospect.

          • Dan this is a battle you have no chance of winning… You are barking down a road where you have no chance… You don’t get it… You have a mind set that is sad… You are arguing with people who care about a man who cared not only about his community but gave more to it than you ever will… Please be virtuous and quiet… Arguing with the owners daughters is classless

    • Karen Bernstein

      Dan – You truly don’t get it. Westport has changed…some for the better, but generally, not. Those who don’t respect the history that built this town cause true sadness to those of us who do.

  3. Very sad, already missed

  4. The Feliciano Family formally want to thank everyone at Oscar’s, Lee and his family, employees, vendors and clients who, were part of this local icon…God bless you all.

  5. very sad- my week won’t be the same without being in oscars a couple of times a week- best to lee and his family

  6. Michael Nayor

    I’ve been out of the local news loop for several weeks and am dumbfounded to learn of Lee’s illness and the closing of Oscar’s. First, my family’s heartfelt wishes to Lee to win this battle. Everyone will miss Oscar’s for sure but first things first. Lee, get better, get stronger. The whole community is routing for you.

    Mike Nayor

  7. it does not escape me that both Oscars and I Float are in the same building and both closed on the same day of the same week of the same year with personal stories of why. HMMMMMMMMMM any other reasons why??

    • Ali Papageorge

      Hmmmmm… No! No reason at all. My father owns the building. Ifloat went bankrupt. Oscars closed because my father is ill.

  8. Wanda Tedesco

    As a Westport resident born and raised here Oscar’s will be forever missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Lee and his family.

    • it was made abundantly clear yesterday that coming to Oscars was hardly about just the food. That place is nothing more than 4 walls unless my father is sitting inside that place on a full time basis. It is MY FATHER that should be “landmarked” not Oscars Deli 159 Main Street Sunny downtown Westport CT. When our extended Westport family came in yesterday–many many people came in and said oh no this is so sad we love Oscars so much–but EVERY person who came in said “oh no we love LEE, we love YOUR DAD.” It was hardly about Oscars–it was more about the fact that people knew that if they went to
      Oscars that is where they knew they would be able to find my dad!

  9. impossible to imagine Main Street w/out Oscars. reminiscing about Oscars and Main St w/ a few high school era friends who are not all around the world, the friendships of which were cemented with trips to Oscars. his generosity – in cream cheese and good, fun perspective on the daily goings on of 06880 – just had no parallel, a lot of fun and a really good heart. I hope he recovers soon and enjoys knowing what high regard so many hold him in.

  10. Julie Van Norden

    I am heartbroken that Oscar’s has closed. Sure there are other places that serve food but that’s not the point. Oscar’s was a real small town place where people knew your name and your order, called you “Hon” and discussed town goings-on. It was a little piece of home.

  11. PS the tables are not “gone”! My dad donated them to the soup kitchen down the street!

    ps the soup kitchen is an actual soup kitchen where real westporters go to help other real westporters who have fallen upon hard times–the soup kitchen is not the name of a local restaurant that serves gluten free, hemp, cranberry, (fake) organic vegetable soup for $22 dollars.

    Mass consumerism marketed as individualism—someone please keep westport real I can’t do
    It alone.

  12. Lisa Wingard

    Hung out at Oscar’s deli a lot back in the day with all of my friends, not so much lately as I moved out of the area but always made a point to get the best bagel and coffee anytime I had to go to westport. Sending well wishes to Lee for a speedy recovery and a nice long relaxing lifestyle. You deserve it, running a food establishment for 4 decades plus is unheard of and sometimes it’s just time to Relax. Be Well Lee πŸ΅πŸŒΈπŸ’

  13. There is a hole in Main Street a mile wide. Best wishes for a full recovery to Mr. Papageorge.

  14. I’m so sad about all this. Sad that Lee is ill. Sad that Ali and Melissa are having to defend their father and the amazing “institution” he created here in Westport. And most of all, sad that I was halfway across the country on Sunday and couldn’t take part in what sounds like a truly heartfelt farewell.

    After nearly 30 years as a Westporter, I can honestly say that I somehow believed Oscar’s would always be there. Yeah, I know, things change. And, yes, you can often find me picking up an iced tea at Starbucks. But it’s really not the same. No one there watched my kids grow up or even remembers that I always take my iced tea unsweetened.

    As so many other have already said, Westport will never be quite the same without Oscar’s. Sending love and well wishes to the entire Pappageorge family — and the rest of the team. We will miss you.

  15. Thank you to Lee, his family and co workers at Oscars for being such an important part of growing up in Westport for me. My Dad ( Gerry Turner) brought me to Oscar’s when it was down the street for lunch back in 1966 when we moved to Westport. I loved that big pickle barrel πŸ™‚
    No matter where I lived, I always looked for a place that made sandwiches like Oscar’s roast beef on rye , and never found one as good…
    Coming home to visit, Oscar’s was always the first place to go grab a bite…hang out and visit with old friends.
    Towards the end of my Dad’s life, he went to Oscar’s every day, even though he could not eat due to having ALS. He went for the people watching and for the ambience. Lee always made him feel welcome and part of the community. These days most restaurant owners would discourage somebody not eating from hanging around, but not at Oscars. I still have napkins that my Dad drew his cartoons on from his days spent at Oscars.
    To the guy with the negative comments, maybe delis are a dime a dozen where you come from, but Lee and Oscar’s are one in a million to old time Westport folks.
    I know Lee didn’t close it willingly, and I wish him and his family the best. He has left behind more wonderful memories for so many people, then any of those other places that guy mentioned ever will…
    Get well Lee, you are loved by many!