Arrivederci, Joe Arcudi!

Joe Arcudi was the only one of 7 siblings born at Norwalk Hospital.

Joe Arcudi

He was the youngest. His brothers and sisters were all born at home. “Home” was Saugatuck: the corner of Railroad Place and Charles Street. There’s a big, blotchy office building now. But in the mid-20th century, Joe’s family lived there — right next to his father’s butcher shop.

Joe’s parents’ goal was for all 7 children to graduate from college.

After Staples High School (Class of 1960), Joe headed to Fairfield University. His parents’ wish came true.

In 1973 he opened Arcudi’s restaurant. For the next 21 years — and again from 2009 to 2012 — his “square pizza” drew diners of all ages and stations to the small spot next to Carvel. (Today it’s Aux Delices.)

For many years he ran the Little League and Babe Ruth programs in town.

And — oh, yeah — from 1993 to ’97, Joe Arcudi was Westport’s 1st selectman.

He always thought he’d live in his hometown forever. But with his 5 children scattered all over the country, he’s moving on October 16.

That’s right: Joe Arcudi is moving from Westport.

And how about this? His new home will be Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

His son — and 3 of his 8 grandchildren — are there. He’ll be centrally located for all his kids, who are scattered around the country.

Including Joe’s daughter. She and her 12-year-old live here.

So don’t worry. Joe Arcudi will be back in Westport, every couple of months.

The Post Road restaurant.


26 responses to “Arrivederci, Joe Arcudi!

  1. Eric Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Another treasure from Saugatuck is buried. RIP.

  2. I was afraid this was going to be an obituary. Nice article and thanks for the update

  3. Jack Backiel

    Sounds familiar- I’m in Maryland because both my kids work in DC and my 5 grandkids are here. The only thing is, I rarely get back to Connecticut.

  4. Home of the Square Pizza

  5. Mary Schmerker

    Enjoy your well deserved retirement and have fun with the grandkids. Spoil them and teach everyone about square Pizza.

  6. Herm Freeman

    Bye Joe. Good luck and God speed. You had a fine and friendly restaurant. A good man. An icon in Westport. I always miss having an Arcudi’s to go to…enjoy SD.

  7. We lived behind Arcudi’s and as kids we would cut through the fence to go there and to Carvel. Neighbors Bob and Dave Stalling both worked at Joe’s restaurant. As mentioned he loves baseball and used to sell baseball cards at his counter. His favorite Yankee was Bobby Murcer and if you scored a Murcer card in your pack, you could trade it back to Joe for a whole new pack. I wonder how many Murcer cards he has….

  8. Stephen Axthelm

    Good luck Joe!

  9. Joe! Godspeed…I’ve been missing you already..;-/

  10. Dick Lowenstein

    Joe and I talked this morning at Stop and Shop. He looks great and it was an opportunity for me to give him a farewell elbow bump, though there will likely be more when he periodically returns to Westport.

  11. John Gilbertie

    Joe wish you well in your relocation. We had some great times growing up in Saugatuck.

  12. Rosemary Milligan

    enjoy South Dakota and be sure to get out to the Black Hills and see one of the most beautiful and historic places in the country.

  13. Joe’s election was the only year I registered as a Republican! Best wishes on your new adventure Joe, and greetings from Ashland Oregon!

  14. Joe was a born politician, in the old-fashioned positive sense of the word. During his time as First Selectman, I remember him once approaching me in CVS and striking up a conversation like we’d been friends since childhood, even though he didn’t know me from Adam.

    He also from time to time made what were apparently random calls to constituents. He got me on the phone once and we talked from 20 minutes. He was a busy guy, but I had the feeling he would have stayed on the phone with me for as long as I had anything to say. I, of course, voted from him. I probably would have voted for him if he’d run for President.

    I’m sorry to hear your leaving Westport, Joe, but it sounds like you’re leaving for the best of reasons, Best of luck to you, and enjoy your family out there.


  16. David J. Loffredo

    In 1976, my Little League Caps Division team – the Rams – beat Mr. Arcudi’s team in the World Series. I can’t remember their name – but we were clearly the Bad News Bears and they were the Yankees. After the game, both teams went to Arcudi’s Pizza to celebrate. One of my favorite childhood memories, Joe was then and will always be a class act.

    Fun fact – Toby from The Office was our Shortstop.

  17. Vivianne Pommier

    It will be sad to see another landmark close. The Arcudi’s are wonderful and we will all miss them in Westport, but glad they will be close to their family. Thank you for the many many years, and the best pizza

  18. That is a major move. Wishing you all the best.

  19. Michael A Rea

    Good luck and best wishes on your relocation, Joe and Sandy.
    Westport will always be your home and Westport will always be indebted to the Arcudi Family.
    I served as Park & Rec Chair during Joe’s term….He accomplished so much during his years in office, The Wakeman Park Complex, Baseball fields on Compo Road, Renovated & expanded Marina,… just to mention a few.
    More importantly ,Joe actually enjoyed dealing with the citizens of Westport one on one…no empty slogans…just good ole face to face meeting and personal ;phone calls,

  20. Gretchen Gelman Stone

    Best of luck to you on your next life venture and move Joe. Safe travels and be safe.😊

  21. Tom Feeley '87

    Good luck, Joe and Sandy! Thanks for being a great coach (Astros), a great boss (Arcudi’s), and a great part of what made Westport.

  22. Michael Calise

    Joe was an indefatigable contributor to Westport. From his very first days on the RTM up to and through his term as First Selectman. The fact that he did not get re-elected for a second term was truly a loss for Westport.

  23. Once a Westporter, always a Westporter! The longer he’s away, the more he’ll understand this quote.

  24. Dave Stalling

    My first job was washing dishes at Arcudi’s working for Joe. He’s a great guy. I wish he and his family the best!