Category Archives: Restaurants

Roundup: Census, Bloodroot, Shorefest, More


As the 2020 census continues, Westport’s self-response rate is 76.2%. That’s well above the rate for the state of Connecticut: 69.4%. (The figures include responses from all known addresses.)

Officials urge anyone who has not completed the census to do so. Census data informs how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years.

Click here to complete the census response. Click here to see Westport’s response rate. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)


The Westport Farmers’ Market has offered great, healthy food for more than a decade.

Bloodroot has done the same for nearly half a century more.

The Bridgeport feminist vegetarian restaurant/bookstore — opened in the 1970s by Westporters Noel Furie and Selma Miriam, nurtured by ever since and still run by the indefatigable women — is the subject of a new documentary.

“Bloodroot” premieres Sunday, September 20 (7 p.m.). The film will be shown at the Imperial Avenue parking lot — home to the Remarkable Theater and its partner for this showing, the Westport Farmers’ Market.

The film — about feminism as well as food — is an homage to Furie and Miriam, says WFM executive director Lori Cochran-Dougall. They are longtime supporters of the market, and a mentor to its director. Click here for tickets.

Three local restaurants are offering tailgating options for the documentary.

Terrain’s $50 box for 2 people includes tomato salad, kale falafel and blackberry pie. Click here for ordering information.

Manna Toast’s offering ($20 for 2) includes choice of toast, salad, rosemary popcorn and iced tea. Click here to order.

Kawa Ni’s dinner ($60 plus tax and 3% kitchen share, for 2) includes tsukemono, shaved broccoli miso goma, tomato tofu pockets and a bun bowl. Call 203-557-8775 to order by 4 p.m. on September 18.

(Form left): Noel Furie and Selma Miriam, Bloodroot founders.


Speaking of food: Friends of Sherwood Island — members of the organization with that name, and those who merely love Connecticut’s 1st state park, a 236-acre gem hidden right on the Westport coast — are invited to an important fundraiser.

Shorefest on a Roll rolls out Sunday, September 20. Guests will enjoy a rolling tour of the park, accompanied by a podcast describing its fascinating history and its many features — plus a “lobster roll to go” feast.

The event includes a field of whirligigs, exotic kites, disc golf exhibitions, musical performances and model plane flyovers at the park airfield, all while cruising the loop at 10 miles an hour.

The only stop is near the end of the tour to pick up hot or cold lobster roll dinners. The entire loop takes 12 minutes.

Click here for tickets. Proceeds support Friends’ efforts, including the newly renovated Nature Center, tree planting, maintenance of the vast purple martin colony, and the 9/11 Memorial.


Dog-gone it!

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce held out as long as they could. But the 5th Annual Westport Dog Festival — set for October 4, after being rescheduled from May — has been canceled.

That’s the second major event — following Slice of Saugatuck — shelved by the Chamber, due to the coronavirus.

But they’re running concerts both weekends. Terrapin: The Grateful Dead Experience performs tonight, in a sold-out show. Two other shows are slated for October 2 and 3. Tickets go on sale next week. For more information, click here.


And finally … as we remember 9/11:

Roundup: Big Top Ribs, “Best In Show”, EV Club, More


Owner Pete Aitkin wants to add some new “flashback” items to the Black Duck menu.

And he needs “06880” readers’ help.

“Many readers have fond memories of the Big Top,” he says, referencing the beloved, mouth-watering burgers-and-more joint on the Post Road and Roseville Road that is now (aaaargh) McDonald’s. “Some even worked there.”

Pete wonders: What kind of ribs did they serve? Baby backs? Beef? He thinks they were pork spare ribs. Any info on sauce or seasoning would be great too.

Email duckpeter78@gmail.com, or call 203-227-7978.


Yesterday marked the start of another school. It’s different than any that came before. But — as students, staff and parents saw yesterday at Coleytown Elementary School — some things never change:

(Photo/Stephanie Mastocciolo)


The Artists Collective of Westport knows about shows. So they’re proud to collaborate with the Remarkable Theater on a showing of “Best in Show.”

The drive-in movie — a biting satire about dog shows — will be shown Thursday, September 17 at 8 p.m. at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. The gate opens at 7.

Tickets are $50 per car. Click here to reserve.


Who says parades must be loud?

The EV Club of Connecticut is sponsoring a (socially distanced) electric car parade. It’s set for Sunday, September 27 (check-in at 9:30 a.m.

It starts at 10 a.m. at the eastbound Westport train station, by Donut Crazy. The parade ends at Fairfield’s Old Town Hall.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas will lead the parade in the department’s Tesla Model 3 police cruiser.

All makes of EV are welcome. To register, click here.

The Westport Police Department’s electric car.


And finally … today is September 9. Which means, whether you’re using American or European style, it’s 9/9. Which means …

 

Photo Challenge #296

Last week’s two-fer Photo Challenge threw a few readers for a loop.

As the story said, “winners” (who get nothing except 15 minutes of Sunday afternoon glory) had to identify both photos — of plants and flowers hanging outside a couple of walls — correctly. (Click here to see.)

Most people identified the top photo as Pane e Bene, across from the Westport Inn. Fewer got the second one, another Italian restaurant in the other end of town: Tutti’s.

Congratulations to Rich Stein, Seth Braunstein, Amy Schneider and Claire Elliot for getting both images right. Buon appetito!

We’re back to one photo this week. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Les Dinkin)

Roundup: Positano, Poll Workers, Church Aid, More


A sign in Positano’s window says, “We are closed.”

The phone message elaborates: “We are now closed. We wish the new owners the best of luck. We thank our customers for their patronage over the last 20 years. Arrivederci!”

The popular Italian restaurant opened in July 2015 next to the Westport Country Playhouse. It relocated there from Old Mill Beach after a long run, replacing the Dressing Room restaurant founded by Paul Newman and Michel Nischan.

Despite what the sign says, Positano is now closed.


It’s the perfect storm: Election Day this November will be held during a pandemic. Officials traditionally rely on retirees to serve as poll workers. But finding willing workers may be hard this year, as older people opt not to spend hours indoors, assisting voters in close quarters.

Which makes this the perfect opportunity for another group affected by COVID-19: college students, forced off campus and back home for distance learning.

Poll workers earn around $200 a day. Some work half days (5:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., or 12:45 p.m. until the end of voting) for half pay. During the recent primary election, full-day workers also received a meal allowance of about $40 (subject to change).

Training is required. Before the coronavirus, the session was 2 hours. Video conferencing may lengthen the presentation.

Registrars also seek high schoolers in the past. They’ve been great in the past — especially with recent technological advances. There is no school on Election Day.

Interested students — or anyone else — can contact registeredvoters@westportct.gov for more information. (Hat tip: Lynn Goldberg)

Westport poll workers, in 2017.


This Sunday (August 30, 1-4 p.m.), Saugatuck Church runs a food drive to support Person to Person in Norwalk.

Non-perishable food can be dropped off in the church parking lot. Volunteers will collect donations directly from drivers’ trunks. Among the most needed items:

• Spaghetti sauce
• Pasta
• Canned vegetables
• Dry red or black beans
• Jam and jelly
• Mac and cheese
• Granola/snack bars.

Saugatuck Congregational Church (Photo/Storm Sorrentino)


In other religious/community caring news: Every Saturday, David Vita — director of social justice of Westport’s Unitarian Church — brings hundreds of brown bag lunches to take Bridgeport shelters.

The lunches — of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, a drink, snack and a treat — are made by church members.

Since April 18, over 4,000 lunches have been made and distributed. To help, email david@uuwwestport.org or call 203-227-7205, ext. 14.

Westport Unitarian Church.


Yesterday’s Roundup noted that Balducci’s parent company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

An email from the store’s CEO Judy Spires to customers says: “Our stores will continue to be fully operational, offering the quality product and selections you have come to expect. And of course, they will continue to be staffed by all of your favorite people. Please be assured that the wages and benefits of all of our Associates will continue as usual, and our Associates will continue to provide you with the top-quality service you depend on.”


How to rehearse in a pandemic? Outdoors.

The other night, Any Given Thursday — that’s the band’s name — held its final session before their show at Black Rock’s BRYAC (Thursday, August 27, 5 p.m.). They tuned up outside the Gig Center on the Post Road, near Southport.

A small crowd stopped by. It will be bigger on any given Thursday — well, this coming one, at least. (Hat tip: Lou Weinberg)


“06880” loves the Little Free Libraries popping up all over town. It’s simple: bring a book, or borrow a book. That’s it!

Amy Schneider spotted this one at 11 Hillyfield Lane, off Marion Road:


And finally … Happy 76th birthday to Walter Williams of the O’Jays!

Salute To Solude

In the year after David Martin broke his femur skating at Longshore, he worked with physical therapist Paddy Jarit.

At every session, Martin was enticed by the aroma of coffee. Jarit roasted it at home, then brought it to the office to enjoy.

“I’m a coffee snob,” Martin says. “But I’d never tasted anything like that.”

Martin — a Westporter since 1999, whose 2 children graduated from Staples High School — is a real estate developer. But he developed a new idea: opening a local coffee roaster. Every bag would be roasted to order,

Better yet, the business would give back to the community, in every way it could.

In 2015, Solude Coffee opened on Sylvan Road South. The name evokes “solitude” — having a peaceful coffee in the morning before starting the day — and also sounds like “salut” in Italian.

From the start — continuing through a recent move to a larger facility on Norwalk’s Knight Street — coffee beans have come from the 3 main coffee- producing regions of the world: Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Experts examine each shipment. They roast, brew and taste small batches. They use “hot air roasting,” a process using computer controlled ovens that brings out the full flavor of each bean without burning the edges (which creates a bitter aftertaste).

Every bag is roasted to order without chemicals, then delivered to customers in air-sealed bags. All coffee is certified fair trade, organic, and kosher.

Roasting Solute coffee is a serious business.

Solude produces 58 different types of coffee. Each is special to the customer. The coffee delivered to Jr’s Deli on Riverside Avenue, for example, is unlike any other.

Solude’s customers include restaurants and coffee shops, senior and eldercare centers, golf courses, churches and synagogues, and colleges. Several schools have signed contracts after students selected Solude in taste tests.

The roaster also provides all advertising and graphics — and single-serve cups. (There are 2 types: all-recyclable and biodegradable.)

Solude’s “Coffee for Causes” program allows consultants and small business partners to contribute to causes they believe in: Circle of Care, Kids in Crisis, Norwalk Power Squadron and many more. Solude matches those contributions. Local clubs, PTAs, booster organizations and the like that purchase Solude coffee also receive contributions from the roaster.

The company offers jobs to people “others have forgotten.” Right now, for example, one of the 5 full-time employees is a client of STAR, which serves people with developmental disabilities.

David Martin (far right) and his Solute staff.

David Martin has long since recovered from his broken hip. He no longer sips coffee at his physical therapist’s office.

He’s got all he needs, at his own special roaster.

(Hat tip: Evan Vishno)

Dozens Of Interns Make Marketplace Work

Since its launch last month, the Westport Marketplace has been a smash.

The online, one-stop shop for operating hours, safety precautions, links and more for nearly every store, restaurant, market, medical office, fitness center, realtor, auto dealer, and professional, home, personal and children’s service in town was a herculean effort.

Our Town Crier‘s Betsy Pollak led the way. She had the backing of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, Westport Downtown Merchants Association and town officials.

But none of it would have been possible without the skills and smarts of over 40 interns.

From graphic design to social media — and of course boots-on-the-ground gruntwork — the team of teenagers and and 20-somethings stepped up for their town.

It helped that all of the interns were already here. They left Staples High School and their colleges abruptly in March, pivoting to distance learning. But they had time on their hands, an abrupt end to their social lives to contend with — and talent, creativity and energy to share in abundance.

Rising Staples junior Tessa Moore got involved because she saw her community struggling. She appreciates being able to share information, while helping the local economy.

Sanna ten Cate, Marketplace co-director and a rising junior at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, had a chance to get “an inside look into the back end of businesses.” She calls the skill set of her fellow interns “astonishing.”‘

One of the most skillful was lead graphics intern Nate Kolek. The rising Staples senior called the digital collaboration “such a positive environment.”

A few of Westport Marketplace’s many interns.

Web operations lead and Emory University rising freshman Serena Ye volunteered as a way to combine her passions for business and communications, while supporting her community.

Jasmine Kitahara — a 2020 Cornell University graduate, and the lead web developer — was “able to do something I’ve never done before, and would never get the chance to do prior to starting my full-time career.” She used her college education to program and build the website.

Now that she is starting that career, the Westport Marketplace is looking for someone to take over her role (click here for details).

The Marketplace is also looking to expand its media team. For that, the web developer position and other posts, email info@thewestportmarketplace.com.

Before the Marketplace project, there was no master list of every Westport business. Even town officials had access to land records only, not the businesses within the parcels.

That’s one legacy of this effort. And — if the interns’ work has helped save even a few of them — that’s another.

(To view the Westport Marketplace, click here. To support it — and the interns — click here. Hat tip: Ally Schwartz)

Roundup: Art About Town, Senior Center; Young Shoots Farmers, More


Even a pandemic can’t keep local artists down.

The Westport Downtown Merchants Association’s 2nd “Art About Town” project includes works from Artists Collective of Westport members. They’re exhibited in the windows and on the walls of many downtown retails — for viewing and purchase.

Art About Town runs in conjunction with the WDMA’s “Art+ Downtown Thursday Nights.” Galleries stay open from 5 to 8 p.m. So do many of the stores showcasing the “About Town” art.

Bonus feature: Many of the artists are there with their work on Thursdays, chatting with customers. Tomorrow they’ll be at Amy Simon, Pop’TArt, Sorelle, Artistex, Catherine H, Don Memo, Fred Sip & Shop, Franny’s Farmacy, Nic & Zoe, Savannah Bee, Savvy + Grace and West, on Post Road East, Main Street and Church Lane.

In addition Manna Toast offers 1/2 off on bottles of wine (5 to 7 p.m.), and Rye Ridge Deli will stay open till 8. Masks and social distancing are mandatory for Art About Town!


Upcoming Senior Center events:

Bingo: Thursday, August 20 (1:15 to 2 p.m.). Virtual Bingo — with prizes! — is offered the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month. If you don’t have internet, you can call in from home. If you can’t print cards, the Senior Center will help. Pre-registration is required (203-341-5099). There’s also an $8 lunch for Westport residents — delivered (with 4 Bingo cards) to your home.

Pet Chat: Friday, August 21 (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.). Share pet stories; hear guest speakers. Click here for Zoom ID; password is 4C1Q0H.

Summer Concert Series: Friday, August 28, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.: Pianist Irwin Lebish discusses and plays selections from “The Great American Songbook.” Click here for the Zoom link. Friday, September 4, 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Violinist and Westport native Healther “L’il Mama” Hardy — daughter of Friends board member Judy Hardy — entertains on Facebook Live and Zoom (click here for that link).

Fall Prevention program: (Tuesday, September 1, 10 to 11 a.m.). Carli Lee Spinola — injury prevention coordinator at Norwalk Hospital — teaches how to prevent slips and falls. Click here for the Zoom link.

Labor Day Drive-Thru BBQ and Online Concert: Seniors and guests can order a BBQ lunch to go; pickup is at the Senior Center on Friday, September 4, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Socially distance in the parking lot, and enjoy the meal! $8; ordering deadline is September 1. Call 203-341-5099.

Questions? Call 203-341-5099, or email seniorcenter@westportct.gov.


“Young Shoots” — the Westport Farmers’ Market’s deliciously named youth photo contest — has extended its deadline.

Youngsters ages 8 to 18 have until August 24 to submit photos. This year, because of COVID, they must be taken at home. The goal is to show images of the produce, flowers and prepared foods they and their families buy — and how it looks in their kitchens and dining rooms.

First place winners in each category receive $100; runners-up get $50. All photos will be on display at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk.

Click here to apply; click here for more details. The deadline is August 10.


Last Friday, Ariana Napier delivered 424 pounds of food to Bridgeport Rescue Mission. This brings her Westport’s total donations to 1,819 pounds of food and personal care items donated. In other words: Donors are just 181 pounds away from reaching 1 ton!

BRM continues to provide twice as many meals and three times as many grocery bags as before the pandemic. The most needed items include:

  • Canned beans (all types)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats (beef stew, chili, etc.)
  • Peanut butter and jelly (plastic)
  • Snacks (granola bars, power bars, etc.)
  • Ramen noodles

Donations can be dropped off at bins in Ariana’s driveway (14 Jennings Court, off Bayberry Lane near Long Lots).


Rebecca Mace reports that the Panera Bread location on Post Road East near the Southport line — shut for several weeks — is once again open.

Yesterday she spotted baked goods on the shelves, someone going in, and a guy eating a salad next to the window.

The Panera Bread near the Southport line.


1968 Staples High School graduate Paul Backalenick has just published his second book. He says, “A good mystery can be a good distraction in these trying times.”

Carrie’s Secret takes place in a psychiatric hospital in the 1980s, as a suburban couple struggles to understand and help their threatened daughter.

The Kindle version of Carrie’s Secrets is just $2.99 on Amazon — and it’s free for Kindle Unlimited member. The paperback is $13.99. Click here for more on Paul Backalenick.


And finally … last night’s Remarkable Theater movie was “The Sting.” In 1973, the film — starring Westport’s own Paul Newman — gave new life to Scott Joplin’s rags.

Pics Of The Day #1216

“06880” photographer Amy Schneider took a tour of the town’s al fresco dining spots. Here’s some of what she saw (pre-Isaias):

(Photo collage/Amy Schneider)

Roundup: Board of Ed; RL Stine,Eversource, Manna Toast, More


The Board of Education meets tonight at 7 p.m. The Zoom meeting includes 2 important agenda items: superintendent of schools Tom Scarice’s recommendation for reopening, and proposed changes to the calendar.

The session will be livestreamed on westportps.org, and televised on Optimum channel 78 and Frontier channel 6021.


Avery Place — a main component of downtown — has finally been cleared of wires, limbs and debris. More than a week after Tropical Storm Isiais, power has been restored to the area.

But, as photographer Wendy Cusick notes, vines are killing trees here, and throughout Fairfield County. And when high winds roar in, they can help kill utility poles too.

(Photo/Wendy Cusick)


This will send goosebumps down the spines of many youngsters:

R.L. Stine — the bestselling horror story kids’ author — will be the final speaker in the Westport Library’s Camp Explore program.

The virtual (and free!) event — open to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection — is set for this Tuesday (August 18, 4 p.m.).

Click here to register for Stine’s appearance — and click here to watch all previous Camp Explore events.


In the aftermath of Eversource’s twin public relations disasters — a rate hike, and a belated response to Tropical Storm Isaias — State Senator Will Haskell says:

“Public utilities need to be monitored closely, and both legislators and members of the public have a role to play in holding Eversource accountable. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is holding a public hearing (via Zoom) on Monday (August 24, 10 a.m.),

“I encourage anyone interested to submit testimony and join me in standing up to this monopoly that too often lets customers down. This isn’t about one neighborhood left behind or the unpredictability of New England weather — this is about a company that makes billions in profits yet fails to prepare for a storm that announced itself days in advance of arriving in our backyard.

“To submit testimony, email comments to pura.information@ct.gov (mention Docket #20-01-01 in the subject line), or mail them to: Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

To attend or participate in the Zoom hearing, click this link.


Manna Toast has been open just a couple of weeks. But already they’re expanding their Church Lane hours — and adding music.

They’re open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to  9:30 p.m.  Entertainment this weekend includes Henry Jones (Friday, August 14, 6 to 9 p.m.), Suzanne Sheridan & Friends (Saturday, August 15, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.), and Wass (Melissa Wasserman, Sunday brunch, August 16, 12 to 2 p.m.).

Here’s a toast to a new Westport tradition!


Carole Bernstein did her civic duty on Tuesday: She voted in the state primary election.

Two days before, 3 cars — parked in her driveway — were broken into. She’s not alone. She’s seen plenty of Ring videos posted online, showing near-daily brazen break-ins. She’s read several warnings, by town and police officials, to never leave anything visible in your car.

So Carole was quite surprised to see several signs at the Bedford Middle School polling place, telling voters to “leave purses and backpacks in your locked vehicle.”

What’s the reason for the signs? What’s wrong with bringing a purse or backpack into the voting station (which is no longer even a booth — it’s open, for all to see).

Is it a COVID-related rule? If so, what’s the theory behind it? Even so, doesn’t it contradict everything we’re hearing about vehicle safety?

I vote for purses and backpacks in the polling place!


Two years ago — just 15 days after arriving at the University of Colorado — recent Staples High School graduate Corey Hausman died in a tragic skateboard accident on a steep campus pathway. He was unsuccessfully treated at a local medical facility. It was the 3rd college death of the new semester.

Since then, his family has been involved in College911.net. Among their projects: creating a medical emergency checklist with questions and suggestions his family wishes they had considered while sending Corey off to college.

Some of the items pertain to students (“Did you sign a HIPAA release providing a family member rights to access medical records? Do you carry a medical alert card or ID with emergency contacts, in case you lose your phone?”). Some are for parents, if 911 is called on behalf of a child (“What medical rights do you have if your child is over 18? What is the quality of the campus medical center?”).

Nanette hopes all students and parents will review the checklist, before the new school year begins. Click here to see.

Corey Hausman (center) with Lucas (left) and Casey (right): “The Brothers.”


Earlier this summer, Tony Award-winning Kelli O’Hara hosted a great virtual Westport Country Playhouse event, showcasing Fairfield County’s best young talent.

The Westport resident is back this Friday (August 14, 7 p.m.). It’s the capstone for THRIVE — Teens Having Resilience In a Virtual Environment. The online program for area high school students was created by Westport Country Playhouse, the Shubert Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre.

The 15 THRIVE participants — including Westporters Camille Foisie and Raia Morgan, and Weston’s Harrison Solomon — will share their experiences in the virtual summer camp. It’s part talk show, part variety show, and part cast party.

The “Friday Night THRIVE Live!” event is available on You Tube (WestportPlayhouse channel) and Facebook Live (Westport Country Playhouse).

Kelli O’Hara


And finally … yeah, Eversource. We’re talking about you:

Roundup: Rye Ridge, Small Businesses, Honey Bees, More


As of 7 a.m., Eversource reported 6,258 Westport customers without power. That’s less than half the town — but by the slimmest of hairs. We’re down to 49.54% in the dark.

The utility “expects” to have 90% of all Eversource customers in service by tonight. That would mean 1,263 would still be waiting.

Of course, Isaias is not our only worry — or theirs. The utility notes, “In light of COVID-19, work practices and reporting procedures have been altered to protect our employees’ health, and those of our communities we serve. Pandemic guidelines have been reinforced across the system and they will be maintained while restoring service to all customers.”

PS: Saugatuck Avenue is closed from the train station parking lot to Duck Pond Road (the Norwalk line), through approximately 5 p.m. today.

PPS: Karen Solicito reports at 9:30 a.m. that the charging station at the Westport Weston Health District on Bayberry Lane is full. There’s a wait to use it. And though WiFi there works, it takes a few minutes for the phone to locate it. “Don’t fret if it doesn’t show up in the WiFi queue right away,” she says.

The cleanup continues. (Photo/C. Swan)

 


Rose Akin posted this yesterday, as a Comment on the Pic of the Day. But it deserves a much wider audience. So here it is:

“We moved to town recently. My husband and I and our 2 little ones picked up an amazing lunch from Rye Ridge Deli today. Finally made it to Compo Beach and realized we had way too much to carry with one trip from the car to the beach.

“My husband dropped off a few bags, and ran back to the car to grab more, and me and the boys. All of this happened within 60 seconds — and Compo seagulls! ☺️

“Rookie move on our part. They feasted on all of our lunch.

“My husband went back to Rye Ridge to get us lunch again, as the kids were starving. Guess what? Rye Ridge comped him the whole lunch. I mean … what a gesture!

“We were so beyond touched. I texted my friend Lisa Newman, telling her what a great choice we made moving here. She said, ‘you have to email Dan!'”

Thanks, Rose. And welcome to Westport. Once COVID and Isaias are gone, you’ll really love this place!


This was already a disastrous year for restaurants, markets, retail shops, fitness centers — just about any small business you can think of.

Just when they had mastered curbside and online sales, and then adjusted to the new rules and regulations regarding opening — they got whacked by Isaias.

We’re all in this together. We’re all restocking our refrigerators, paying extra for tree removal and new outdoor furniture, and on and on.

But still: Let’s figure out ways to help Westport’s own. Let’s redouble our efforts to shop local. Let’s go out for more restaurant meals than normal (eat-in or takeout) — and leave a large tip too.

If you’ve got an idea for helping the mom and pops who have sustained us for so long — and struggled so mightily — click “Comments” below.

Gold’s reopened a couple of days after Isaias struck. The popular deli had no power — but they improvised, sidewalk sales-style. Customers loved owner Jim and Nancy Eckl’s resourcefulness.


Speaking of small businesses, Savannah Bee’s store manager — the wonderful Julie Cook — writes:

“Nothing keeps us down on Church Lane. I was decorating my windows for National Honey Bee Day next Saturday (in the dark, sweltering heat), and miraculously the lights came on midday yesterday.

“What a bonus! We thought we’d be out until Tuesday night. As a thank-you (to all those tireless electrical  crews from South Carolina — and the universe), please let folks know we’re open for business, we have cold spring water, delicious honey roasted coffee, lovely artisanal teas, all-natural Italian energy drinks called BEEBAD, all-natural plant-based antibacterial soaps with a huge sink to check them out, a large restroom, and the best part: People can charge their phones!

“We’d love to share our Southern hospitality today and next Saturday for our 3rd annual National Honey Bee Celebration. From 1 to 4 p.m., people can meet local beekeepers. We also have a live hive demonstration (safely encased in glass). And we’re making honey sips and sweets, plus beautiful flower crowns for all the queen bees in town.

It’s free and open to all! We’re happy to share the bee love, and our good fortune. It’s the simple things that make us smile these days❤️👍🏻🐝


How tough are things for businesses? Born of Earth spa is leaving its space near Whole Foods.

David Gerard — who has owned Born of Earth for 27 years — cited increasing rent, overhead and COVID-19 as reasons for the decision.

Fortunately, they’re not closing entirely. They’re merging with Artistex Salon & Spa, less than 2 miles away at 260 Post Road East. The entire Born of Earth team will continue at the new location.


Sandy Rothenberg asks: “How are we supposed to contact emergency services with no phone or WiFi at home? Especially in Weston as I’ve heard Westport has set up remote towers.”

Anyone know? Click “Comments” below.


And finally … if you’re waiting for a utility crew from South Carolina, Missouri, Canada or wherever: