Mark “Chubby” Lane — beloved by Westporters in the 1960s and ’70s as the Compo Beach concessionaire, and owner of the Chubby Lane’s restaurant on the Post Road — died earlier this month in Naples, Florida.
When he ran the hamburger stand at the beach — located where the volleyball courts are now — Chubby (who was actually not heavy at all) introduced innovations like walkie-talkie orders and delivery (employees tied balloons to patrons’ umbrellas to indicate their location), and fried chicken to augment the standard concession fare.
Employees (and I was one of them) wore blue button-down shirts, navy Bermuda shorts and high knee socks. We hated the uniform, but loved the job. Chubby was an understanding and very fair boss. His $1.25 per hour wage in 1969 seemed quite fair.
His restaurant — where Willows Pediatrics is now, next to the Westport Inn and across from ASF — offered the first $1 hamburger in town. The meat for both the restaurant and beach stand was excellent. It was ground daily at Charpentier’s butcher shop across from Chubby’s (today it’s Border Grille).
Before retiring to Florida, Chubby and his wife lived in Delaware.
Details on survivors and services are unavailable. Chubby’s brother, longtime Staples High School football coach Paul Lane, died last year, at 93.