Normally, the opening or (more rarely) closing of a bank branch in Westport is not big news.
But when People’s United shuts its location on the corner of the Post Road and North Compo — part of 18 closings in the state, between December and April — we’ll lose more than one of our town’s squintillion banks.
A bit of history is going too.
That branch has been there for decades. It’s seen the addition of “United” to “People’s Bank,” and the reorientation of its entrance from the front to the back.
Most importantly, it’s a link to one of Westport’s longest-lived, best-known and well-respected businesses.
In 1958, Ed and Norma Mitchell took over what had been a heating and plumbing company office. With a few suits, a coffee pot, and tons of grit and hope, they founded a store that — 61 years later — thrives.
Mitchells moved twice — once to Colonial Green, then to its present location next to Sakura. From their Westport headquarters, the 3rd generation of Mitchell family members now oversee stores in Greenwich, Long Island and on the West Coast.
That’s a storied past for the unassuming building near Planet Pizza and Compo Barber Shop.
Let’s hope the new tenant stays as long as People’s Bank, and is as successful as Mitchells became.
But I bet it will just be a nail salon.
(Hat tips: Dick Lowenstein and Dan Vener)