Friday Flashback #107

Word on the street — Charles Street — is that Mystic Market opens next month.

Some folks will describe it as the old Blu Parrot spot. Others — with longer memories — will say it’s where Jasmine was.

But real old-timers know it — and will never forget — the site as the beloved Arrow restaurant.

For a couple of decades — after its move from the nearby Saugatuck Avenue/Franklin Street location that gave it its name — the Arrow defined the neighborhood.

And made its mark on all of Westport.

Here’s a look back, at the way we all were.

Owner Frank Nistico

Owner Tom Nistico, back in the day.

Lou Nistico, son of the founders of the Arrow.

FRIDAY FLASHBACK FUN FOLLOW-UP: Last week’s Friday Flashback featured a 1946 photo of Marie Corridon on the Longshore high diving board. 

It was a great shot (click here to see). Now comes word — via alert “06880” reader Chris Corridon — that Maria was not your casual, Sunday diver.

Turns out her family lived in Norwalk, and were members of Longshore. She learned to swim at the then-private club — and went on to win a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in London!

Marie was the lead swimmer for the champion, Olympic record-setting US team in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

She is a member of the swimming Hall of Fame. Her 7 children all participated in Division I athletics. The girls all swam, and are active Masters swimming record holders. One — Sheila Stolarski — is a Weston resident. Several of her grandchildren swim competitively too, in high school and college.

Who knew? Thankfully, Chris Corridon does!

17 responses to “Friday Flashback #107

  1. WOW,thanks Dan, I grew up there waiting for my dad to bring mom home some cold veal cutlet. Loved that place and the family,check out the Cadillac’s 🙂

  2. I always wondered about that building!
    Dan, I hope you have a photo / oral history book in the works!

  3. I remember the Arrow when it WAS at that point of land formed by Franklin St. and Saugatuck Ave. (Saugatuck’s equivalent to the Flat Iron Bldg. in New York) but it never occurred to me that the name Arrow came from that point. {always something to learn at 06880!)

  4. I remember The Arrow fondly. There were two choices of pizza as I recall: Cheese or Cheese.

    After every home game we went there. Lou Nistico, as well as the brothers who I did not know as well, were always a presence on sidelines of our games. To this day I remember him yelling at me: “nice catch 41”. I was very proud of that – guess I still am.

    In 1995 I visited with my two lifelong best friends Don Von Liebermann and Vince DePierro, both now gone. Don had restored an old time pink Cadillac convertible with huge fins, and like it was in 50’ s we rolled down from Weston to The Arrow with top down and Buddy Holly blasting. Guys in front, girls (our wives) in back.

    Those were the days…………thanks for the article Dan, at my age I am spending a lot of time walking down memory lane and your articles and photos are a huge part of my reminiscing and at all times greatly appreciated.

  5. If the Mystic Market is anything like the MM locations in the town of its name, Westporters will love it. We’ve been going to the West Mystic location for years as our summer home is in Noank. Don’t miss their ginger snap cookies, killer sandwiches, and an excellent selection of pre-prepared food….

  6. Thank you Dan. The Arrow Restaurant and the Nistico Family a huge part of our town heritage. A great family who always gave back to the community. Very much missed today. How lucky those of us who grew up in Westport in the 60’s and 70’s were to have such a great family restaurant in town.

    • Michael Calise

      I echo your comment Jimmy and I can reel it back ti the 50’s

      • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

        Thanks Michael & Jimmy and yes, as Michael stated, reel it back to the 50’s, great food wonderful people. The Nistico’s and the Arrow were part of what made Westport so wonderful.

  7. I too second Jimmy’s emotion and look forward to seeing Tommy at the Staples ‘68 reunion.

  8. Will be interesting given

    all the water that’s been on that site lately I’m willing to take bets…

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. First job as a teenager, bus boy at the Arrow.
    Nothing but fond memories & good feelings about the Nistico family and their contribution to all of Westport.

  10. Just want to echo the words of Jimmy Izzo and Michael Calise about the Nistico family. I interact with Tommy Nistico as a ranger at our golf course, he locates my clubs when I leave one or two on the course, and have come to know him as an incredibly warm person..
    Don Bergmann

  11. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Waaay back when my family lived on Treadwell, well before my time the Arrow was already great. The whole Nistico family made it that way and Lou even moonlighted as our mailman. Hard work, great food and most of all solid family character is why there has never been and probably never will be a replacement for the Nisticos in Westport. There can never be an end to the memories.

  12. My sons and all their friends got jobs there with many hilarious stories. Joe DiScala took me there for LONG lunches. What a great place‼️🇺🇸

  13. I remember when the Arrow, West Lake (Chinese), and the Clam Box were really the only restaurants in town – at least the ones of which I was aware of as a kid. Our family celebrated many a special occasion at the Arrow.

  14. Luisa Francoeur

    The fun thing about eating at The Arrow was the open kitchen visible to the dining public. My father loved being able to order espresso after dinner. There was a separate bar area with its own entrance.

  15. So happy to have been considered a friend by the wonderful Nistico family. I remember their fabulous restaurant when it was under a big red arrow that could be seen from 95 pointing over Saugatuck a few doors away from Mario’s when it was the West Tuck where renowned jazz pianist John Mehegan played a big old upright piano with Jimmy Isaacs who would let me sit in on his drums.Quality time spent with the Nisticos reflected in my speech pattern and on trips back to London my Saugatuck American Italian accent would amuse my old friends in my local Cockney pub. Geeze…t’anks guys!(Just kiddin’)