The End Of Reason

Age of Reason appears closed.

The popular store — a longtime destination for the kinds of kids’ items you will not find at Toys R Us — has a sale sign in front. But the interior is cleared out, and no one answered the phone when I called a few minutes ago.

They’ve struggled for a while. Online competition has been hard. The location — on the Post Road/Riverside Avenue “worst intersection in Connecticut” — has not helped.

But the small staff was unfailingly kind.

And very, very knowledgeable.

These days, those qualities are not high on enough shoppers’ lists.

(Hat tip: Jessica Newshel)

20 responses to “The End Of Reason

  1. Susan Ball

    When I worked at Stepping Stones museum in Norwalk for a short time many years ago, they ran our gift shop. It was divine. Great stuff. Too bad!

  2. Nancy Yates

    Very sad news. Age of Reason was a wonderful resource for interesting and enlightening diversions for our three kids, all now in their 20’s. And the staff, as Dan mentions, were indeed unfailingly kind and knowledgeable – as well as fun! I was happy to see, upon returning in recent years for gifts for a new batch of great-nieces and nephews, that the always helpful Nina had made her way down the Post Road from Max’s.

  3. Svea Vocke

    I was in there this week and they said they’re simply moving a couple doors down and should reopen end of May or so – switching places with the bridal shop!

  4. How sad…I remember when they opened …They were one of the first “New” stores to open on that corner along with a very cool antique store etc. The only thing there before them that I liked was Art’s Deli, and Goodwill where I could spend hours finding treasures.
    Their store always had fun things for that “Hard to Buy ” for person. I still have a package of Glow in the dark Stars that you stick on your ceiling that I have been saving for when we buy a house 🙂
    I guess they are now just one more memory of the “Old Westport” that I grew up in and loved.

  5. Jessica Bram

    What a wonderful store this was! A great source for interesting, unusual, educational and brain-stimulating gifts as well as many a summer camp care package. The owner and staff were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and among the friendliest in town. Frankly, I wondered how they survived this long, given how landlords, intent on getting inflated “market rents” while their costs (e.g. financing, real estate taxes, energy prices) have remained flat or relatively low, are eviscerating everything Westport’s commercial landscape used to be; diverse, personal, quality-focused. Farewell to a great part of Westport. Hello Toys-R-Us.

  6. Andy Yemma

    When I saw the headline I thought, didn’t that happen on Nov. 8, 2016?

  7. Lee Fleming

    For heaven’s sake. The Age of Reason is NOT NOT NOT closed. It’s trading spaces with Bella Bridesmaids. Bella Bridesmaids needed more space, Age of Reason needed less. Right now both spaces are being fitted out to get ready for the swap, which will happen in a couple of weeks. The sale at Age of Reason was to reduce inventory so there is less to move. You could’ve asked about this at any of the shops, or at Arezzo’s — or asked any of the people actively working on the fittings there, before publishing this. It’s not a secret. Helene, Irene, and all the rest will be back when it opens again.

    • Lee Fleming

      PS – They are not struggling, and never have been. The only problems they’ve had were with flooding, people illegally parking in front for hours, and the idiocy of too many of the drivers at that horrible intersection. They love their customers and plan to be around for many, many more years to come.

      • For heaven’s sake. There was no sign on the door, or anywhere else. The space was empty. No one answered their phone on a Friday near noon, and there was no message on their voicemail saying they were moving. And yes, unfortunately, they have been hit by internet e-commerce.

        • Lee Fleming

          And you didn’t think to ask any of the neighboring shopkeepers if they knew anything?

          Hit by internet e-commerce? And you know this how?

          • No, I didn’t. Sorry if I’m not Clark Kent. And I know that they have been hit by internet e-commerce because one of the women who works there told me so. It was suggested a couple of months ago that I do a story on them, because of that very fact, but they did not follow up with me.

            • Lee Fleming

              Apologies., I forgot you are a blogger and not a journalist. But, as you know, you have a large Westport readership and a mistake on something so easily checked beforehand can avert the potential of destroying a business — something I’m pretty sure you don’t want to do.

        • Tyler Smith

          Dan, please don’t take this the wrong way, but this has happened a few times before. Maybe until you’re 110% sure that a biz is closed, refrain from posting anything. You have a huge readership and very impactful posts. Mentioning a possible closure of a local biz could be very detrimental.

  8. P.S. — They are not struggling, and never have been.

  9. Jena Maric

    I just bought toys there and the store owner said that they would be closed for a month and re-open next door in a smaller space. Please let everyone know that this wonderful store is not leaving Westport!

  10. Vanessa Bradford

    Dan, as most of us readers know , is a professional, on the spot journalist. Period, the end.

  11. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    For heaven’s sake! Dan is a wonderful news source. Lighten up. Thank him for his contributions.

  12. Dina Berger

    Thanks for covering The Age of Reason. We have been hit hard by e-commerce, but still have loyal customers, and we still enjoy the mission we set for ourselves. We are downsizing our space, flipping with Bella Bridals and hope to reopen at the end of May. We look forward to seeing old and new customers and serving them with unique gifts for curious adults and kids.

    Until we reopen, please visit us at our Stepping Stones Museum store, 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
    Mention this blog post and receive a 15% discount.

    dina berger, founder and owner of The Age of Reason

  13. Janine Randolph

    I just passed by the store and did the same thing. Called and then looked it up online. It’s a shame-they we’re great in there, but it is so unfortunately not shocking.