Remembering Dave Reynolds

Dave Reynolds died on Saturday in Fairfield, after a long battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.

To generations of Westporters, he was the welcoming owner of Ye Olde Bridge Grille. Located on Post Road West, next door to National Hall (at that point, the Fairfield Furniture store), it was the “Cheers” of its day (though smaller and less well lit). Today it’s an interior design shop.

The Bridge Grille, around 1980. Fairfield Furniture Store is at right; today it’s been restored to its original look, as National Hall.

Bars like “the Bridge” — with a jukebox, bowling game, wooden tables, plenty of beer, and a mostly-but-not-entirely young crowd of regulars — no longer exist in Westport. In the 1970s and ’80s, it was legendary.

Dave — an excellent golfer — became a soccer fan thanks to several of his bartenders. He sponsored a Westport Under-23 team that was as legendary as the bar that sponsored it. His Bridge teams won numerous state championships, with a roster that included some of Staples’ best players ever, and top stars from around the tri-state area.

Dave Reynolds, at the bar.

A Brooklyn native, Dave played varsity basketball at Boston College. After graduating in 1963, he worked on Wall Street. Owning the Bridge Grille was his second career.

Dave was a devout parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Fairfield. He was also active in the Knights of Columbus.

Dave is survived by his sister, Mary Anne Reynolds; 2 sisters-in-law, and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Arthur, Frank, Robert and Paul.

A funeral service will be held Tuesday (April 27, 11 a.m.) at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1719 Post Road, Fairfield, with burial to follow in St. Thomas Cemetery, Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus.

Dave Reynolds

 

17 responses to “Remembering Dave Reynolds

  1. As always Dan. A spot on tribute. Dave was a legendary man and terrific human being. Many of our lives were enriched by his hospitality

  2. I have so many wonderful, fun-filled memories of many nights at the Bridge. Dave was like a big brother. I had my favorite perch, sitting on the ice machine. Listening to Mack the Knife, playing the bowling game, and enjoying my friends. And I won’t forget the 85 cent V&T’s!!! Rest in peace, Dave.

  3. I wasn’t a regular at the bridge grill. I knew Dave because I played some golf with him at Longshore. At 16 I broke my driver and Dave invited me to his house to look at one of the many he had but was not using. I picked one out and he only wanted just $15 for it. I used that driver through my high school and college years and still have it in my office today. Using that driver, I won Longshore’s club championship in 1978. Dave was right there in the clubhouse to buy some drinks and congratulate me and my parents. The day I turned 18, Dave invited me to the Bridge Grill to buy me my “first” drink! RIP Dave!

  4. Regarding Dave Reynolds. I was a caddy at Longshore way back when. We always wanted to be assigned to Dave for three reasons. One, He was a really nice guy. Two, He used a “Sunday” bag which was very light weight and, third, he was a very good golfer so we didn’t have to spend a lot of time in the woods looking for lost golf balls! Even 50 years later, I still remember him fondly.

  5. Rest In Peace Dave

    A wonderful man who brought us the Bridge Grill.

    The end of an era…

    So blessed to have grown up in Westport when we did- best friends & community

    Dave was a beacon of light…

    Pegeen Gaherin
    Staples 72

  6. Fun Fact. When Dave worked on Wall Street his firm had a center court box at Madison Garden and he would invite a few of us into watch a game. After the game chicanery ensued, and we always had to run for the 12:05am train.
    RIP to the “original package”.

  7. A Westport legend and a first ballot inductee into the Saloonkeepers Hall of Fame. I always enjoyed chatting with Dave about sports, especially about basketball. He really understood the game. RIP old friend.

  8. Grayle Howlett

    Playing for the Bridge Grille, and in effect playing for Dave, was an honor and a privilege. Many of my teammates are close friends to this day. R.I.P., and thanks for your support and your good humor.
    Cheers,
    Grayle

  9. Thanks Scotty and Seth for sending me the sad news on mr Reynolds. While Suzy and I professionally could not frequent the grille for professional reasons former soccer and hockey players spoke so very highly of Dave and the legendary OBG. Just very happy I didnt have to adjudicate a decision on a player while at staples. Thanks God and please assign Dave a seat at your bar if there is one in heaven..much loved and highly respected. You are surely a part of Westport lore forever Very sincerely coach Bob Holliday ⚽️🥅🏒

  10. Jukebox had live Steely Dan…bodhisattva…so rare and of all the places! Also there was at least one literal “rumble” with kids from Weston…I avoided it…

  11. Dave was a great guy. He was a good friend to all my brothers. The Bridge grill was old Westport. People don’t realize what the old Westport was like. Dave is a Westport Hall of Famer for sure. I will miss seeing him, Thanks Dave for all the old memories. Rest in peace Old Pal !!!!!!!!!

  12. Dave Reynolds was everybody’s “old pal”. His establishment , Ye Olde Bridge Grille, was iconic and it’s owner a top shelf guy.

    The Bridge Grille had everything that a local saloon needed ; shuffleboard, bowling machine and a jukebox that had The Grateful Dead classic , “Truckin'”. More than that a great owner and staff . Dave would even let you bring in a sandwich from Art’s Deli if you brought one for him.

    I was fortunate to become good friends with Dave not just from YOBG but though the game of golf, Longshore, Assumption and St, Anthony’s parishes, The Knights of Columbus and the many mutual friends in Westport like Hoover Wilder, The Package Bob Uly, Geady, Billy Kash, Stu McCarthy and countless others.

    Thanks Dave.

  13. What a great time the Bridge was. Bartenders, sports and friends. Dave was the perfect owner.

  14. Terry Brannigan

    In our thoughts. Thanks for the memories

  15. Dave was like Sam Malone from “Cheers.”

    The Bridge was the first bar that I ventured into during my time in Westport.

    A hangout for all, a must for the right of passage when
    you turned 18.

    Rest in peace Dave.

  16. Steve Popovich

    1970s and The Bridge
    Whether at a booth inside or sitting on the river wall in the back with Dino, Craigo, Martso, Little Donny et al, the atmosphere was set, from the top down, by the instantly and ever likable owner. I’m glad to have known Dave as a friend and wish I had stayed in touch over the years.

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