Remembering Chubby Lane

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.

Chubby Lane’s Compo Beach concession stand. (Photo courtesy of Liz Doyle Boyd)

27 responses to “Remembering Chubby Lane

  1. Sad loss. A great guy.

  2. I still make my hot dogs the same as when I bought them as a child at the Concession, always with bacon on the bun. R.I.P.

  3. The best concession at the beach ever. Thanks Chubby and RIP

  4. Christian J. Neilsen

    Great memories from our past. How fortunate we were in those days and didn’t even know it.

  5. Ah, I fondly remember Chubby, the guy and the restaurant. It was one of the few moderately-priced family restaurants with a real sense of decor and ambiance.

    It wasn’t just the staff attire, but the festive wallpaper, polished wood tables and the squeaky clean kitchen right in front of you as you pushed your tray around the cafeteria track.

    We 60’s brats loved to eat there and the pleasant ambiance helped our hard-working moms to relax, too. You can tell the teenagers working there had a great social scene, too.

    Quite a challenge to pull off in a place selling $1 burgers. That’s $9 in today’s dollars using 1970 as a base, so we’re talking Sherwood Diner prices, not McDonalds.

  6. I met Chubby Lane in my early years as Westport’s ZEO. When I called him Mr. Lane, he insisted that I call him Chubby. I thought the name so unfitting and unflattering my immediate response was to tell him I couldn’t possibly call him Chubby. “You will.” he said and eventually I did.

    He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever meet.

  7. Count me in as a proud alum of Chubby’s crew. I still judge how done hamburger patties are by the method I learned at that grill. Great boss, and a big loss!. RIP, Chubby.

  8. Depending on your ability to flirt…..yes, flirting was an art form when you were a Compo Lifeguard. Those delicious cheeseburgers were free sometimes. I’m allowed to even mention that today? Anyway another iconic Westport goes away and that is sad. Great family!

  9. Bradley Stevens

    And he provided the best chocolate milkshakes for 50 cents! I had my share. Fond memories. Thanks for letting us know.
    (Staples class of ‘72).

  10. My mother was a “beach bum” so we frequently had a Chubbyys hamburger for dinner…no cooking needed at home! The best!

  11. Root beer float with one of those plastic drink thingies!!!

  12. I have such fond memories of Chubby’s! Best burgers around! Thanks for keeping us all in the loop. The Lane brothers were great guys!

  13. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    I worked at the Pavilion at the beach also and of course remember the uniform although I don’t remember knee socks. I remember feeling two ways about rainy days: fun to get a day off but a bummer not to get paid. I remember running the milk shake machine a lot.

  14. So sorry to hear this. As a little kid I cut neighbors lawns (60’s) just so I had a couple of bucks for a burger and a coffee shake. Good old days for sure. RIP Chubby…

  15. Chubby (he told me to call him that‼️) was also a quite competent commercial real estate broker. Pleasure doing business with him. RIP TAPS TAPS

  16. Cris (Louther/Murphy) Muscott

    So sad to hear…
    I was a Chubbette in the late 1960’s and I worked at the beach as well as the Post Rd. location. I know I had to buy the mens/boys bermuda shorts at Ed Mitchells as well as the blue button down shirt.

    I remember so many good times and so much good food for lunches. Chubby was my employer and my friend, along with Swifty his manager. Sue Weeks, good friend, worked there too.

    All of the Lane brothers were very nice with quick senses of humor. Chubby will always be someone I remember.

    Does anyone remember Swifty (George Swift)?

  17. Iconic Westport restaurants.

  18. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    I dated more than a few Chubbettes. Would pick them up when they got off work and spend the evening with them still in their button down shirt, blue shorts, knee sox uniform. The Chubmaster always made sure to hire the cutest girls in town.

  19. So sad.. loved chubby lanes as a child! The only place that my parents of seven would take us kids. Sincere condolences to his family! He was a legend!

  20. Liz Fay Corcoran

    Thank you, Chubby Lane, for creating so many special Westport CT memories! RIP

  21. Peter Gambaccini

    Yeah, I hated the uniform. But we gave so many of us our first jobs. RIP

  22. Chubby was a gentleman. He could be stern, but only because he wanted the best for all concerned. When he got change for his business from the bank, he would only take clean bills and if he received soiled money, he would hand it back and want it replaced with new bills. Also, he never wanted his children to have lollipops, he didn’t want them to have too much sugar. But he did this still being pleasant, but forceful. Everyone respected him. He will be and has been missed here in Westport.

  23. Many great family meals and memories

  24. He wasn’t chubby? News to me! Like all Westporters of a certain age, I have great memories of Chubby’s both at the beach and on the Post Road. My most specific memory … I think… is that each glass of soda presented to a child had a tiny plastic monkey hanging off the lip of the glass. I wonder if anyone else remembers this.

  25. Nancy Kondub-Harris

    Loved working at Chubby’s both at the beach and on the Post Road – he was great man! One day Paul Newman came in to eat with one of his daughters – he kept changing his order- (anyone else remember those long scratch pads?). Chubby teased me that I delayed the order for a long time because it was Paul Newman. He laughed hysterically when I said – I didn’t recognize him! RIP Chubby.

  26. Connie Brandt Bentley Staples 1964

    My first job, other than babysitting was at Chubby’s concession at the beach. I also worked for him at the Post Road location, where one day, George Hamilton, the actor, walked in and asked for me. Apparently, my brother John met him at the Westport Country Playhouse. George mentioned that he was staying at the hotel next to Chubby’s. So my precocious brother asked him to stop in to say hello to me if he had a chance…and he actually did.
    I learned so much from my experience working for Chubby. May he Rest In Peace.

  27. jess Thompson Huberty

    Thanks Dan for posting the notice about Chubby. He was a year ahead of me (Class of ’51) at Staples and I remember him well.
    He was very much a part of the group with which I ‘hung out’ and dated one of my best friends…a great guy.

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