Friday Flashback #79

The Black Duck — Westport’s favorite dive/karaoke bar — has sat tilting in the Saugatuck River forever, right?

Well, sort of.

Seth van Beever posted this painting on Facebook:

He wrote that his grandfather — Gerry Haehl — owned the barge, and ran a bait and tackle shop there.

Seth says the barge was later replaced by a new one.

In the early ’70s, it looked like this:

Some things never change.

Others change very, very slowly.

18 responses to “Friday Flashback #79

  1. Thanks Dan. Seth’s Dad did the painting and I still have it. What a nice surprise to see this post. When I was a child my Dad put a small boat inside the barge so I could learn to row and not get lost. I eventually graduated to being on the river. Such a good place to have grown up!

  2. Notice no I-95 bridge over the river back when it sold bait & tackle…

  3. Seth Van Beever

    Thanks for posting Dan, with that railing in the ’70’s it looks a lot like a caboose!
    It does look like the old building was set on top but I have been told otherwise. Maybe one of your readers knows.

  4. Before the barge was named Port Side it was a different restaurant whose name I don’t remember. But the food was good. There was a downward slope to the floor even then.

  5. To be more precise, Black Duck since 1977, Davy Jones from 72 – 77, Portside from ? – 72

  6. I was a regular at the bait shop. Lotta shiners and sand worms.

  7. Bill Boyd (Staples '66)

    Great article…love the Duck!

  8. Oh, was the floor crooked?
    I always thought it was me…

  9. It is said that the Black Duck sits on a barge that in turn sits on top of another barge – I wonder if the barge owned by Gerry Haehl wasn’t “replaced with a new one” but instead is sitting underneath the current barge . . . .

  10. I love the Duck…love it, love it, love it. Quintessentially, my impression of New England as a young woman wanting to leave Southern California to raise a family in the Northeast…and so here we are. Thank God, The Duck still is, too.

  11. Shortly after moving to Westport in 1983, The Duck was the first restaurant I went to. I loved it then, and I love it now!

  12. Ellen Landowne

    I believe it was an excellent
    French restaurant call “the Barge” when I moved here in the late 60’s.
    Does anyone else remember that?

  13. Like BH’s comments above, I also moved to Westport in 1983 and our family has always been great fun for this classic institution. We all love The Duck❗️Appreciate this article👍🏻

  14. Kathleen Dehler

    I LOVE that old painting!!!!

  15. How about Davey Jones Locker