Roundup: Dunkin’, Yardbirds, Wakeman …

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Dunkin’ or Starbucks? We’ve got 3 of each in town, spread from one end of Westport to the other.

Dunkin’ fans will have more room to enjoy their coffee and donuts in March. That’s when the “middle” shop moves from its current location (across from Fresh Market). The new site is just a few yards away, and across the street: the Compo Shopping Center property last occupied by Compo Barbers, and an adjacent (also vacant) storefront.

Jim Cain Jr. confirmed the move to “06880” yesterday. His company owns dozens of Dunkin’s in the area, including the one in Bridge Square. That one will remain open.

So will Westport’s 3rd Dunkin’, on Post Road East (next to Layla’s Falafel). It’s owned by a different franchisee. (Hat tip: Westport Journal)

PS: Scratching your head over the 3rd Starbuck’s location (besides downtown, and the drive-thru opposite Carvel)? There’s the one inside Stop & Shop. Pro tip: There’s never a line there.

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Among the many famous bands to play at Staples High School — the Doors, to drop one name — the Yardbirds may not ring a bell. But the band featured Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. And they begat Led Zeppelin.

Clapton was not part of the Yardbirds when they came to Staples in 1966. But Page and Beck were.

A photo of the guitar giants tuning up backstage — in what was then, and still is, the high school choral room — appears in a new book, Led Zeppelin: The Biography:

What’s even more impressive is that the image was taken by a young New York photographer, who’d heard that the Yardbirds were about to play their first-ever US concert. She picked up her camera, and drove up to Westport for the show.

Her name: Linda Eastman. Today of course, she is known as Linda McCartney — Paul’s wife. (Hat tip: Ken Goldberg)

FUN FACT: Eric Clapton did eventually play at Staples too. He was there with his new group the next year: Cream.

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Speaking of donuts (as we were above): After enjoying your treat, you might want to work out.

Westport’s newest gym has the intriguing, if somewhat unappetizing, name of “Club Sweat.” It’s the second location — the first is in Greenwich — for what its owners call “the original group elliptical workout … (but) Club Sweat is more than just a workout. It’s a lifestyle. We sweat together, have fun and work towards our fitness goals together to beat- driven classes and of one-of-a-kind playlists. We’re led through a fun choreographed workout by amazing, talented instructors who motivate and challenge us to have fun while doing something good for ourselves.”

Club Sweat will open soon, in the Fresh Market plaza.

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Wakeman Town Farm welcome the new year with a pair of exciting new programs. University of Connecticut master gardener Alice Ely will teach both.

In the “Winter Sowing Workshop” (January 10, 7 to 8 p.m.), students will learn how to make a “mini-greenhouse” in a bottle. Leave it outside until spring; then reap a dozen or more native milkweed seedlings to start in your garden. Collect or save bottles now (clear 1- or 2-liter soda bottles or translucent half-gallon milk bottles are recommended.) Click here to register.

“Resolve to Compost” (January 24, 7 to 8 p.m.) will help you turn over a new leaf (ho ho) in 2022. Attendees will save water, reduce pollution and improve their gardens by making “black gold” at home. The class is for those new to composting, and those who want to up their skills. WTF will share some of its compost to get you started. Click here to register.

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Wildlife abounds here — nowhere more so than Sherwood Mill Pond. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows one of our favorite spots.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … The moment you read about the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, you know who’d be featured in today’s music video, right?

15 responses to “Roundup: Dunkin’, Yardbirds, Wakeman …

  1. To add to the Yardbirds story, my brother Trace and I just interviewed founding member Jim McCarty from his home in France and he discusses how significant it was for them to play at Staples because it was their very first gig in America and when they got a Beatlemania type reaction they knew they had made it and were thrilled. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqc6Af_A22E, and on Apple podcasts. Search for “Oh Brother, Not Another Podcast”

  2. Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins are part of the same company. Many locations have both franchises. Since the new location consists of two stores, will B-R move into it, too?

  3. Putting this DD in the Compo Shopping center is a horrible idea for traffic – it is hard enough getting in and out of what has to be the worst traffic circulation scheme in town – and you can be sure that no-one will park in back and walk to DD.

  4. Dan — All that coffee and no donuts. How about a bit about Coffee An’, home of the planet’s best donuts and muffins?

    • Hi Roy, please explain what you mean by “no donuts” with Dunkin’ Donuts. I agree: Coffee An’ is great. But I’m perplexed by your comment.

      • Even though the company and the website are still officially “Dunkin Donuts,” Roy is probably pointing out that the company now advertises itself as Dunkin’ [they removed the “donuts”]

  5. Clapton left right after they recorded For Your Love (on which he played) because it was too great a departure from the blues he signed up for. He did join and record with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers for a few months after the Yardbirds, but it’s not clear how he reconciled his traditional-blues-only position with most of Jack Bruce’s compositions with Cream after he left Mayall.

  6. In the I’m Getting To Old category most teens don’t know who The Doors were 🤯🤔😬😵‍💫😲

  7. Day That Dunkin opens = total gridlock

  8. Thanks for posting the picture of the Yardbirds tuning up in the choral room. FYI, in the background, you can see part of the steel pan set gifted to the Staples Orchestra and Orphenians, made by prison inmates in the Virgin Islands, in thanks for the contribution of many musical instruments the groups brought with them on their trip to the Islands in 1966. My sister (Staples ’66) was an Orph and played violin in the orchestra – a double threat! I was two years behind her, was also an Orph, and played in the band. The two years I was an Orph, there were no international travels for the group, and then it resumed again for the class of ’69. Ouch! Many fond memories of George Weigle and Robert Genualdi, of the Music Department in the late ’60s.

  9. I’m also dreading the Dunkin’ move to Compo. It is the worst and riskiest parking lot plan in Westport. I travel through this lot at least once daily and see near misses and cars doing crazy, dangerous things every day. And we all know how bad the Post Rd intersection is there already.

    I’ve always wished the property owner would redesign the parking plan for this shopping center, especially in the vicinity of the Post Rd entrance/exit. The gridlock within the lot is awful there. Cars are pointing in all directions trying to back out of CVS spaces while others are trying to enter the lot or are queuing up inside the lot waiting to exit.

    You also take your life in your hands as a pedestrian trying to cross from this lot over to Trader Joe’s. Cars turning right on red as they exit the Compo Shopping Ctr lot will nearly mow you down in the crosswalk.

    This move will not turn out well for Dunkin’ patrons or for those who regularly patronize the other businesses there. Expect fender benders, long waits in car queues, near misses and perhaps pedestrian injuries.

    I’m a Dunkin’ customer but my cup of coffee won’t be worth the hassle in this lot.

  10. This will make the horribly unsafe drive-up Starbucks on-road queue farther east on the Post Road look like almost nothing. The Compo Shopping Center Post Road entrance/exit historically is notoriously dangerous at best along with being excruciatingly frustrating…and that’s in perfect weather conditions. Oh boy, wait until snow and ice arrive. Whose brilliant idea was this imminent double dunkin fiasco in the first place and who in authority failed to consider and apparently ignored the more-than-doubled pedestrian, traffic, and safety nightmare about to be inflicted while blithely OK-ing it all? What about ambulances, fire trucks, police cars? Somebody has some ‘splaining to do.

  11. Like there were no traffic problems in the current DD location?
    And there was no traffic in/out of the stores that are being replaced by DD in Compo Center?
    DD wouldn’t be moving if it didn’t expect to gain more customers, so this move represents an improvement in a local business. Isn’t this good?
    If traffic volumes were going to be a problem, a Westport committee would have intervened, just as the Town of Fairfield nixed the Chick-fil-A at the former American Joe’s location.
    And the back lot in Compo Center behind CVS is usually empty, so there will be plenty of space for DD customers — just put in a back door.

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