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Friday Flashback #299

Recent Friday Flashbacks have featured long-lived and well-loved restaurants: Allen’s Clam House and the Clam Box.

Here’s one that was Italian — not seafood — and that closed more recently than those 2 favorites.

But there are enough newcomers in town who never knew it — and enough time (7 years) has (unfortunately) passed for those who did — for it to be the subject of a fond look back.

So, let’s honor …

Mario’s (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

For the uninitiate, Mario’s was the Railroad Place place. Commuters rolled off the train, and up to its bar. Families went there, to celebrate any occasion worth celebrating.

Servers, busboys, bartenders, cooks — all worked there for decades. And when they stopped working, they came back as customers.

If you never knew Mario’s: You missed a memorable slice of Westport life.

If you did now Mario’s: Click “Comments,” to share your memories.

Dinner was packed, before Mario’s closed.

FUN FACTLegend has it that the now-famous phrases “March Madness” and “The Road to …” were born at Mario’s.

The story is that CBS had just bought the rights to the NCAA basketball tournament. Announcer — and Weston resident — Brent Musburger and a couple of executives (and Westporters) were sitting at the restaurant, wondering how to market the event.

“This March is going to be madness!” one said. Bingo!

The “road” idea came soon — perhaps one or two drinks later.

The menu, in the front window.


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