Another Closing: Commuter Coffee

Commuter Coffee — for over 4 decades, a quick stop across from the train station — serves its last breakfast (and coffee) today.

Owner Fred Whelan was too busy with his final customers to speak with “06880.” But an employee said another restaurant may eventually fill the Railroad Place space.

Commuter Coffee was started by Thomas Papan — Whelan’s father — in 1976.

(Hat tip: Ben Sturner)

14 responses to “Another Closing: Commuter Coffee

  1. And there are at least 12 vacant storefronts (some of them double) on Main St. It only says one thing: The landlords don’t care what the down looks like and will wait it out until they fill their pockets. But the Saugatuck hub is full of life, as is downtown Fairfield. Approaching from Fairfield, Westport becomes dark and depressing. Main Street is dead at night.

    • Michael Calise

      Sorry to see them go. The upside is there are lots of new places where you can get plenty of small plates. You may leave hungry and broke but the sprig of parsley on the plate will make you feel good!

  2. Robert Mitchell

    First Athena, now Commuter Coffee. The upscale restaurants in Westport are great, but we need the simple places, too.

  3. Sal Liccione

    Very sad to see them close a good place to meet up and have breakfast

  4. Tom Feeley Sr

    Tommy would come up to every table at least once to say hello and make sure all was ok and your coffee cup was full 🇺🇸

  5. Terry Anzalone

    Tommy is a great guy.
    Always so friendly and good to the kids!
    Saugatuck is changing!!!
    Sad……use to be filled with lots of real people.

  6. Fred really filled in at Commuter Cafe when Tommy retired. Of course, there’s no shortage of banks on Westport’s Post Road. (I think my bank has 3 separate branches.) But after many years, there are still no banks in Saugatuck. And Commuter Coffee maintained one of the few open and reliable ATM machines in Saugatuck. So much for bragging about “how convenient Saugatuck is as an alternative to downtown.”

  7. Years ago a couple of days before Christmas I was in there having a late lunch..Tommy came over to my table, sat, and poured us each a glass of Grappa. We toasted the Holidays and caught up for an hour or so. Going to miss that place.

  8. Jamie Walsh

    Best to Fred and Tom and Commuter. Thanks for all the memories and meals! Sad to see another Westport Institution close up!

  9. Marcia Falk


  10. Debbie Rosenfield

    Tommy knew all the regular commuters and somehow managed to get all of us our coffees and onto the train on-time. He did it with a smile and a good word for everyone. Later, when I owned Madison’s, a small gift shop two doors down from Tommy’s place, he (or Pam) would often hand me a pint of his outrageously good avgorlemono soup as he was leaving, knowing my store would be open for another 5 hours. Mario, Moose, Alyssa, Dave, Johanna, Tommy, Ed, Patty, our collective customers/friends…and guys who made sure we were all safe, like Dave E, Mike B, Tommy C, Al F….it was a fun, magical, memorable community on Railroad Place.