Arrow Restaurant Shares In Nobel Prize

You don’t win a Nobel Prize without a great work ethic.

And for generations, teenagers learned how to work at the Arrow restaurant.

It paid off for countless local youngsters. Including Billy Kaelin.

The Fairfield youth — and his 3 brothers — all worked there as busboys.

Yesterday, Dr. William G. Kaelin Jr. was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Dr. William Kaelin, and his prize.

Kaelin — a professor at Harvard Medical School — shared science’s greatest honor with 2 others. They researched how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. The work has implications for cancer and other diseases, such as anemia, myocardial infarction and stroke.

Tommy Nistico — a member of the legendary, beloved family that owned the Saugatuck institution for years (originally on Saugatuck Avenue, then located at the current site of Mystic Market) — posted the news on Facebook.

He noted that Kaelin and his 3 brothers all attended Duke University. The younger siblings are now lawyers.

The Arrow restaurant nourished decades of hungry Westporters. Along the way, it also fed the hunger of a young boy to work hard, and make his mark on the world.

Kaelin will receive his Nobel Prize in December, in Stockholm.

Too bad the Arrow is no longer around to cater the event.

(Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

31 responses to “Arrow Restaurant Shares In Nobel Prize

  1. Mary Jean Burt

    Remember how good the pizza was at the Arrow.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Joyce Barnhart

    A Nobel Prize – wow! Congratulations to Dr. Kaelin. No mention of Westport schools, so I guess Dr. Kaelin went somewhere else in the area. Anybody know where?

  3. Kathryn Sirico

    Congrats! Arrow kids had a work ethic that carries thru a lifetime.

  4. Richard Fogel

    Maybe the Arrow also taught them how to park a car. To give the restaurant credit is unimaginable. The credit goes to the Dr Kaelin and his family. Congrats to Dr Kaelin. Society benefits from facts, research, and integrity.

    • Arline Gertzoff

      I doubt the Nistico’s are taking credit for anything.I know the Nistico’s and am sure Tommy is just pointing out local pride.A Staples grad just won a McArthur .Lyndsey Addarrio,Tyler Hicks , and Spencer Platt have all received photo journalism awards.Many other local grads have made incredible contributions Bravo for their achievements across the spectrum.Here’s to hometown pride

    • Peter Gambaccini

      Tom Nistico made the Facebook posting about this, pointing out a Westport connection. What the heck is wrong with you?

    • “To give the restaurant credit is unimaginable.”
      And yet, you imagined it…
      “The credit goes to the Dr Kaelin and his family.”
      Of course, but I would have thought you a proponent of “It takes a village”…
      “Society benefits from facts, research, and integrity.”
      And a strong work ethic…

      • Reminds me of the first job I got fired from, taking over leaf-raking from you at a house on Court of Oaks. I got caught napping under a tree and the homeowner yelled, “You sure don’t have your brother’s work ethic.” So I became a writer.

    • Billy Nistico

      What a really sad comment Mr. Fogel. Hope your day improves.

    • You totally missed the point Mr. Fogel.

    • More sanctimonious twaddle from Fogel.

    • Jack Krayson

      Typical comment

  5. He wasn’t schooled in Westport but he served the water. Arrow was an institution where we are frequently. Only cool guys could work there. Nistoco family good friends of our family

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA, MA, JDE

    Calling the Nistico family “beloved” is only the beginning. They were a blessing to the town for many, many years. Every Nistico was generous to a fault, kind to all and an absolute pleasure to know. I would forego a month of Cincinnati cooking for just one meal at The Arrow. Long after we left Westport I brought my mother home to be laid to rest. After the funeral the few of us who were left decided to meet at The Red Barn to celebrate her life. No reservation we just showed up. We were greeted by Tommy who remembered us instantly after so many years and offered an upstairs meeting room. I will never forget it.

    • Arline Gertzoff

      Eric /PeterThe Nistico’s did the food bit for both my parents and brother when they passed awayCookedup all the favorites I found Mr.Vogel’s comments sad to say the least Chichtird dog 🐶 outside to keep away any. Creeps while wereburying my Dad.Hometiwn pride is great

  7. Jeffrey Jones

    Too bad the Arrow Restaurant isn’t around, period. What a joy, and a fun, tasty f.a.m.i.l.y. place to eat, especially if you were four or five and having a birthday. Busboys were great, and mostly invisible [other than the occasional dropped tray]. Them were the days.
    And yes, here’s to hometown pride! The Nistico family would never assume credit for anything other than a good meal and mug of beer. Cheers!

  8. Mary Schmerker

    The Nisticos are not taking credit. They simply let everyone know about one of “our own” and Fairfield is close enough, after all it was incorporated before Westport if you go back to check. However, if you ask Dr. Kaelin about his experiences growing up and what different experiences contributed to his work ethic he just might mention his working experiences as a teenager.
    I often give a lot of credit to who and what I have become to Betty Roberts, my Senior Girl Scout Leader and being a Camp Counselor at Camp Aspetuck. Congratulations Dr. Kaelin!

  9. Tommy and Dan, thanks for sharing this. A Nobel Prize winner who worked as a busboy at the beloved Arrow: truly a prime example of where Westport meets the world!

  10. Kevin McCaul

    A slight topic derail here: another Saugatuck native was a great influence on me while growing up in East Norwalk back in the ’70s. His name was Bill Gilardi. He worked at Longshore for many years as an assistant golf pro and, later, as a caddiemaster at Shorehaven. He really instilled a strong work ethic in me. I thank him.

  11. Here is an article in the Town of Fairfield News about Dr. Kaelin, who, incidentally, attended Fairfield Public schools —

  12. Arrow’s contribution to his scientific work is evident because the busboys were in charge of the wonderfully aromatic toasted garlic bread availability – which was a wildly attractive celling item! This illustrates that cells smell/sense and adapt to oxygen availability which is the premise of his scientific work!

  13. Vaughn F Keller

    I love this story. I grew up with the Arrow, from the time it was at the “Arrow.” I remember the football team, baseball team, and softball teams at Doubleday. I remember Lou and Joe’s dad at these games: “On the toe boys, on the toe.” Celebrating a connection to Dr. Kaelin is doubly sweet. I never bussed at the Arrow (I bussed at Porky Manero’s), but I sure ate a lot of meals there from the time I was a toddler until I left the area in my sixties. That this man was a busboy and now contributes to humanity in such a magnificent way and so many of us have a connection to him through the Arrow and the Nistico family should be celebrated and bring a smile to our faces.

  14. God in heaven but this became a typical online catty chat. Thank God the Arrow pre-dated the internet.