Category Archives: Restaurants

Oscar’s En Francais

Westporters are still adjusting to the loss of Oscar’s.

But around the time the Main Street deli closed — and beloved owner Lee Papageorge died — longtime Westporter Susan Brody spotted this doppelganger in Marseille:

Oscar's in France

The French are known for fiercely protecting their language. Neither “bagels” nor “sandwiches” sound French to me.

As for “Oscar’s” — in any language, that means “love.”

(Hat tip: Eden Werring)

The Final Kibbe For Kibberia

There are plenty of places to get good, expensive meals in Westport.

But there was only one Kibberia.

The fresh, healthy (and very inexpensive) Middle Eastern restaurant on the Norwalk town line — named for kibbeh, the delicious Lebanese dish — filled a special niche.

Nick Iskandar.

Nick Iskandar.

Owner Nick Iskandar created a wonderful space. He had devoted customers — including nearby office workers looking for great lunch fare — and a strong catering operation.

But tonight Kibberia serves its last shish kebab, shawarma and fantastic lentil salad. His lease expired, and the cost of doing business here grew too high.

Nick told “06880”:

It has been a pleasure being part of the Westport community for the past 3 years. We made a lot of friends here and had a lot of loyal customers who, I am sure, will be upset that we are closing.

I want to thank all our customers and all the people who supported us, especially Dan and the “06880” community who always wrote great things about Kibberia.

I hope to see you at our Danbury location. I wish you all the best.

I will certainly miss Kibberia. It was a wonderful restaurant.

I’ll miss Nick — an exceptionally kind and generous man — even more.

Fortunately, he’s keeping his Danbury location. His customers there certainly appreciate him. Kibberia’s address there is 93 Mill Plain Road.

Some of the many intriguing dishes at Kibberia.

Some of the many intriguing dishes at Kibberia.

Elm Street Swap Would Change Downtown Streetscape

As reported in March on “06880,” 36 Elm Street is the final key to creating an entirely new downtown streetscape. That’s where the Villa del Sol restaurant intrudes into the sidewalk next to the new Bedford Square retail/residential complex. And where an adjacent parking lot — near the back entrance to the old Y and the former Klein’s — is a poorly configured, hard-to-navigate, chaotic mess.

David Waldman — the Bedford Square developer — has spent months pursuing a land swap. He hopes to buy 36 Elm Street, then trade it for a section of the town-owned Baldwin parking lot across the street. Waldman would build an 8,477-square foot building behind Lux Bond & Green.

Villa del Sol would reopen there, alongside 3 small retail stores. Small retail stores would open there. Above them would be 4 apartments — 1 of them rented under state “affordable” guidelines.

The town would demolish the Villa del Sol building, creating additional parking, walkways and greenery. Waldman says that despite taking Baldwin spots for the new building, the town would net a gain of 2 parking spaces in the new lot.

None of this is new news. But Waldman has just created a web site that shows  — visually — exactly what the move would look like. Here’s the view looking south, with the Brooks Corner shopping center at bottom center.

36 Elm Swap 1

Here’s another view. Brooks Corner — is at left, with Serena & Lily behind it:

36 Elm Swap 2

Here’s an artist’s rendering. The new parking lot (old 36 Elm Street) is at left; across Elm Street is the new building (white), with Serena & Lily next to it.

Elm Street swap - 3

For more information on the proposed 36 Elm Street swap, click here.


Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

A Ducky Sunset

On Friday evening, traffic was probably heavy on I-95.

Folks at the Black Duck probably did not care.

Alert “06880” photographer Andrew Colabella captured this unique shot of both.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Cobb’s Mill Officially On The Market

For months, everyone has assumed Cobb’s Mill Inn was for sale.

But it just appeared — finally — as a listing today.

Cobb’s Mill — the  only real dining spot in Weston, and for decades the go-to wedding/anniversary/memorial spot, thanks in equal measure to its rustic charm and ducks — is quite a property.

Cobbs Mill waterfall

The listing notes:

Historic Inn for sale in beautiful Weston CT right along the Saugatuck River. Breathtaking Waterfall views, voted best romantic scenery in CT, 5 minutes from the Merritt Parkway, recently remodeled, 150 dedicated parking spaces, complete with both a restaurant and a banquet facility that accommodates up to 225 guests, a waterfall bar & tap room & several rooms overlooking the lake.

It seems the “inn” is getting more attention than the restaurant. In fact, the heading reads: “Historical Inn & Banquet Hall Steps From Downtown.”

The “property type” description is “Hotel & Motel.”

And the photo shows off the cafe, rather than the restaurant.

Cobbs Mill listing

Weston is abuzz with rumors as to what might go in there.

The listing price is $2,295,000. Click here for details — or to make an offer.

Friday Flashback #2

Today it’s Goodwill. For many years before that, it was the Peppermill.

Even earlier though, this building on Post Road East was Westport’s Greyhound bus station. In the days before I-95, Route 1 was how you traveled between New York and Boston.

Attached to the depot was something called the Post House — a restaurant?

Greyhound Post House - bus station and restaurant

If you’ve got any memories of the Greyhound station, or the Post House, click “Comments” below.

(Hat tip: Neil Brickley)


Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

What Did Oscar’s And Lee Mean To You?

Lee Papageorge’s death yesterday at 65 from lung cancer came just a week after he closed his Oscar’s delicatessen. The events mark the end of a long era on Main Street

As a final tribute, please click “Comments” below to share what the man and the store meant to you. As always, please use your full, real name.

Oscar's owner Lee Papageorge.

Oscar’s owner Lee Papageorge.

Bright Vs. Blight

For years, the Weston Road/Easton Road/North Main Street rotary near Exit 42 — the unofficial “Welcome to Westport” landmark for everyone coming off the Merritt Parkway — was maintained, as a public service, by Daybreak Nursery.

But when financial problems caused the nearby business to close, the triangular plot grew grungy.

Now — suddenly — the space looks gorgeous.

(Photo/Russ Miller)

(Photo/Russ Miller)

I don’t think it was a state Department of Transportation project. But huge props to whoever got it done.

Meanwhile — across town — another “Welcome to Westport” site looks decidedly less welcoming.

(Photo/Joanne Romano)

(Photo/Joanne Romano)

Just one more reason to avoid I-95, and take the Merritt.

Bill Taibe Honors Yesterday, Tomorrow

Starting with Le Farm — and continuing through the Whelk and Kawa Ni — Bill Taibe has offered diners 3 very different visions of what a great restaurant can be.

Now he’s preparing a new space.

It’s in Westport’s original Town Hall: the 1908 stone building next to Restoration Hardware on the Post Road, opposite Patagonia. The building already houses another dining spot — Rothbard Ale + Larder — in the lower level (once the town’s police headquarters, including a jail).

Westport's original Town Hall, on the Post Road next to Restoration Hardware. It's now home to Rothbard Ale + Lager -- and, soon, a new Bill Taibe restaurant.

Westport’s original Town Hall, on the Post Road next to Restoration Hardware. It’s now home to Rothbard Ale + Larder — and, soon, a new Bill Taibe restaurant.

Even as he builds, Bill is not sure of the menu. The other day, CTBites reported:

“Westport needs a real old time tavern,” Taibe told us. Unlike his other restaurants, there will likely be few twists, no high wire acts. “This menu would probably not be as aggressive,” he suggested. “Unlike the Whelk and Kawa Ni, we’d even have red meat.”

He loves the downtown location, and the site’s historic bones. So even though his new, as-yet-unnamed restaurant is a work in progress, Bill knows one thing.

He’s asking Westporters for old photos of the 1st Town Hall. You can donate other memorabilia too: menus or anything else from produce markets, shops, butchers, bakers, and fish mongers.

You can find him at wtaibe@aol.com.

Or any of his restaurants, current or future.

(Hat tip: Johanna Rossi)

The New Normal

Last night, Andrew Colabella took this haunting photo of Oscar’s.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

The tables are gone. The shelves are empty. There’s an emotional hole on Main Street.