New Beach Concessionaire Ready For Approval

No one knows when Compo Beach and Longshore will reopen.

But when they do, the Parks & Recreation Department will be ready.

After announcing in November that Joey’s by the Shore is no longer the concessionaire at the beach, pool and halfway house, Parks & Rec sent out an RFP.

There were 5 responses. Three applicants were interviewed. And the winner is …

Upsilon Entertainment Group.

The Larchmont, New York-based firm begins the approval process at a Board of Finance meeting tomorrow (Wednesday. April 1). The 8 p.m. Zoom meeting will be livestreamed on WestportCT.gov, and shown on on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020.

Then, at a public meeting on April 7 (8:30 a.m.), the Planning & Zoning Commission considers the 1st selectman’s 8-24 Request for a Report about the new concessionaire. The meeting will be streamed live on the town website, and on Cablevision Channel 79.

The P&Z’s purview is to consider the overall planning impact of the proposed lease for the use of these municipal spaces. Public comment can be made in writing only. Email pandz@westportct.gov, to ensure that comments are circulated to the entire P&Z Commission.

Interested residents can review the application materials, including the proposed lease, here: https://www.westportct.gov/government/departments-a-z/planning-and-zoning-department/p-z-pending-applications

Final approval would be granted by the Board of Selectmen. A date for that meeting has not yet been set.

Upsilon Entertainment Group hopes to be the new beach concessionaire. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

33 responses to “New Beach Concessionaire Ready For Approval

  1. Arline Gertzoff

    I never use the concession but what happened to all the buy and use local purveyors I read about online all the time/now buy local gift cards for the future /help local businesses ? .Did none put in a bid ? Just curious.i

  2. Where are the bid results posted? The bidding process in this town is not transparent at all. Look at Fairfield and Norwalk. Everything is posted and transparent. The town website has only 6 bids for the fiscal year of 2019 as well as 2020 so far. Nothing else went out to bid? No fire trucks? No expensive mechanical equipment? What are the purchasing rules? Nothing is posted.

  3. Cristina Negrin

    Fishy

  4. Joan Tricarico

    May want to check this Company out on Glass Door, I agree with Arline, keep it local

  5. Hi all if your not happy with this please email rtm and board of finance and board of selectman today ok. ASAP and head of parks and rec

  6. yes, let’s keep it local as isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing now !
    hopefully something simple, good food, not expensive or glitzy will come in…

  7. It’s sad that Westport decided to choose non-local, out of state, company. Especially now when so many local businesses are suffering.

  8. Jay Walshon MD FACEP

    So, a modicum of internet “research” finds that:

    Upsilon Entertainment Group, registered in 2017, is “Permanently Closed”. Principal is Itai Shoffman. Address is 4 Durham Rd, Larchmont, NY.

    Upsilon Ventures, Principal is also Itai Shoffman, registered address 4 Durham Rd, Larchmont, NY, is also “Permanently Closed”.

    Real estate usage and event management. No evidence of retail restaurant experience, restaurant history, food reviews, menu, pricing, financials, etc.

    4 Durham Rd, Larchmont appears to be a family colonial home rather than being a corporate building or established business entity.

    The word on the street is that this company was chosen over local ones because this Larchmont company offered the Town more money for the concession contract – perhaps even $25,000 more. Tried and true local restauranteurs with proven track records may have been turned down on this basis.

    Westport residents who will be hostage to this concession want to see the proposed Upsilon financials, restaurant history, customer reviews, track record, community relationship, etc., as well as their proposed MENU and PRICELIST. I imagine that Town residents will be forced to more than reimburse Upsilon’s “winning buy-in” at the door.

    Prior to tomorrow’s BoF meeting, Westport residents should be provided the above information to enable US the ability to compare with the Upsilon competitors that were denied. This should be published by the Town TODAY.

    This concession is no small thing. Compo is arguably Westport’s most precious crown jewel, beloved and utilized by virtually every Westport resident, parent and their children. If we are to be hostage to this singular provider, WE should make that decision.

    For so long we have incessantly heard business leaders admonish us to support local, buy local, choose local. Here we have a major opportunity to do just that and instead we look to Larchmont NY??? Really?

    • Thank you for doing some basic due diligence!!

    • John D McCarthy

      Information and transparency is important. But casting unfounded accusations on town employees is really unseemly.

      • Jay Walshon MD FACEP

        John,
        Posing a serious question is not unseemly. What would be unseemly is if this question is answered in the affirmative.

        The “word on the street” from those in the know is that our current P&R Director (who resided in Westchester) has a relationship with this Westchester vendor. I’m only asking for confirmation if that is true.

        Perhaps you are disinterested; however Westport residents (and the BoF) deserve to know.

  9. Why not local? Why does it have to be a larger company? That goes against everything beach and summer, and we want local kids working the stand.

  10. Something seems a little off about this vendor selection. Certainly the information that’s out there about it – and all its past permutations – ought to cause the BoF to ask hard questions.

  11. I have tried to research this company but have not been able to find any food purveyor history or present activity. Further their has been a serious lack of disclosure throughout the process. I learned yesterday that Louis Promuto owner of the wonderful and very successful Valentino’s of Norwalk as wall as the successful Sunset Grill in Norwalk and who has A Westport connection in ownership of JR’s Hot Dog Stand on Riverside Avenue was a bidder who was evidently declined. This is typical of the Recreation Commission. They do and act as they want, announce it later and stick the public with the results. More alarming is that the proposed agreement is a decades long commitment on the part of the Town. I am not sure but I do not recall Joey’s being held on anything other than a short least with relatively short lease terms. fishy to say the least! Be Prepared! The first answer will be “we have been working on this for months”

    • Arline Gertzoff

      Thanks to all who see issues with this purveyor especially since the buy and use local has been stressed. More investigation is clearly needed .

    • Mike I just talked to Eric J owner of Jr’s Deli and Grille on Riverside Ave when picking up some food.
      He flipped out that none of the local establishments were considered for the concessions stand. He’s upset a New York company got it.
      He’s grateful and thankful for all the supportive comments that are being posted here.
      Please go support Jr’s Deli and Grille 203-227-9803 on Riverside Ave. They’re open 8am to 3pm for curbside pickup and for delivery 11am to 2pm.
      They post specials on Facebook and Instagram @jrsdeliandgrille.
      We all want to see Jr’s still here serving great food and doing catering events after all this clears out.

  12. Very disappointed that it is not a local restaurant. I have no problem picking up food and drinks on the way to the beach at the Joey’s by the Shore combined with Elvira Mae’s, or other local places in the area. Just very sad that the process was not transparent and an outsider was chosen.

  13. I personally don’t care who the vendor is so long as they can provide good beach food and a fun atmosphere the way Joey’s did. I never understoood why Joey’s found it impossible to continue in the first place. The site shouldn’t have to sit vacant for a long time – this isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t seem like this situation has to turn into one of our town brouhahas. We do have more intractable problems to worry about now.

  14. India van Voorhees

    My FIRST concern is that the powers that be understand that the concession stand at Compo has to be FUN and RELAXED and CASUAL and BEACHY.
    I remember when it was The Pavilion in the 60s … open air grills with the smell of charring, super-juicy cheeseburgers, manned by tanned and gorgeous college kids who both cooked them and put them on your waiting plate.

    But, of course, my SECOND concern is that it be local owners, absolutely.
    Thank you to those who are doing some research. And thanks to those urging us to let the RTM and BoF know about our concerns.

  15. Having trouble finding any information online about Upsilon Entertainment. No Facebook Page or Website. I’d like to see the concessions go to a local business from Westport or even Fairfield County but not New York.

  16. I wonder if this is the umbrella company- looks like events, etc. upsilonventures.com

  17. Vanessa Bradford

    Hunter, we used to go to your sweet beachside cafe/truck at Southport Beach and were so sorry to learn back then that Hurricane Sandy destroyed your location! It was a seaside treasure.

  18. Out of curiosity, has there ever been any thought to allowing food trucks into the parking lot? Or can they operate on the street? Not suggesting it be a free for all but perhaps a limitation / permit issued (can be revenue source).

  19. Irene Mastriacovo

    Susan, I’m with you — perhaps it’s a subsidiary of Upsilon Ventures. If that’s true, I’m thinking (and really hoping it won’t) be something like the Bluestone Lane Cafes that are popping up around Manhattan. IMO the menu doesn’t really suit a “beach” appetite. In any event, rather than speculate, I’ll be tuning in to the Town Hall meeting tomorrow evening to learn more.

    • Jay Walshon MD FACEP

      The problem with just “tuning in tomorrow” is that once again definitive action will be taken while you merely watch.

      If you are concerned, you must be PROACTIVE by requesting the information that I asked for, by making your views and desires known to the members of the BoF prior to the meeting, and perhaps speaking before their decision. This is what RTMer Sal Liccione has asked residents to do.

      Looking at the BoF agenda it appears that all the other restaurant vendors who wished to provide food services to our community at Compo ARE NOT even mentioned. It appears that once again the BoF and Westport residents are being given zero choice in this matter by the Parks & Recreation director. Zero options to consider and choose from. Zero information pertinent to the customers whom this vendor will service – perhaps for a decade or more.

      In the past, the BoF stated that one thing they ask prior to making a decision is if it is what Town Residents want. Prior to tommorow evening’s meeting let the BoF members know that this lack of transparency is NOT the process nor the decision that you wish if you feel that way. Otherwise you will once again be a mere spectator.

  20. Incredibly fishy,
    We are constantly being reminded to support local, buy local, and we do it because THAT is what communities do.
    It’s unfathomable that our elected representatives would even consider accepting an outside company such as this one from New York…
    surely the B of F must listen to those who elect them to be our voices..
    so please listen to us when we tell you it is unacceptable to agree to this sham.
    There were plenty other people interested in running the concession and absolutely qualified.
    This appears to be yet another parks and rec underhanded attempt at undermining the town residents and businesses..
    it’s disgraceful !
    Please all email the board of finance before they meet tomorrow by going to the town site..
    they must listen to us after all we elected them.
    I’ll bet there’s not a single Westport resident that feels it’s fair or prudent or necessary to hire some shady company from New York !
    We should be allowed to see all the RFP’s and financials of the companies who have also bid to run this concession.
    Time to have transparency and a park n rec we can trust not one who tries to sneak around like this one.

Commenters MUST fill out their real full names, and provide their real email addresses!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s