Many Westporters know Adam Lubarsky as the owner of 2 very popular restaurant/bar/music venues: the Georgetown Saloon and Blu Parrot.
These days you can find him at Southport’s Grey Goose.
But the 1973 Staples High School graduate has also enjoyed a long and parallel career as an actor. He’s had a principal role in the film “You Don’t Know Jack”; been seen on TV’s “Law and Order,” and done commercials too.
Lubarsky’s latest gig: the face of Novartis’ “Keep it Pumping” campaign.
Visitors to the drug maker’s site see several striking images of Lubarsky, calmly reading a paper as water rises all around. A 30-second video reinforces the main idea: “With heart failure, danger rises over time.”
The same video runs as a TV ad. It aired last Sunday on “60 Minutes.”
Adam Lubarsky, calmly reading a newspaper as water (representing heart failure) rises around him.
If you miss him online — or the Grey Goose — you can see him May 13.
That’s when his next film — “Money Monster,” directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney — opens in theaters.
Surging Saugatuck gets another big boost this Wednesday.
The Blu Parrot flings open its doors. Westport’s newest restaurant — on the site of the old Jasmine, and the older Arrow — offers an inspired menu, and equally intriguing live music.
It’s a big space, and the owners have big plans.
But it’s also the perfect space: the corner of Charles Street and Saugatuck Avenue, easy to get to and near many other new (and old) cool places in that part of town.
The owners are hardly newbies. Adam Lubarsky and Steven Alward are Staples grads (Class of 1973) and old friends. In 1978 — age 23 — they opened the Georgetown Saloon. For 26 years they offered good food, honest prices, and music so kick-ass that Keith Richards was a regular.
Now — back in their home town — Adam says, “We want to elevate the bar.”
Steve’s menu features dishes like oyster po’boys, Bubbe’s brisket sandwich, Moroccan lamb kebabs, bool kogi, and shrimp & grits.
Proud owners Steve Alward (left) and Adam Lubarsky.
But it’s the stage that will make the Blu Parrot special. A “piano man” plays from 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursday. From 9 p.m. on (Wednesdays through Saturdays) and 6:30-9:30 Sundays, there’s great music. Jazz, rock, country, Brazilian — it’s the Georgetown Saloon, with a Westport twist.
Sunday brunch features gospel. That’s a Saugatuck first.
Speaking of Saugatuck: For decades, the Arrow restaurant was an icon of that tight, close-knit community.
The Blu Parrot will — in its own way — help define the spirit of the new Saugatuck.
Somewhere up above, Lou and Frank Nistico are smiling.
If you play the popular Westport game — “Where should we go for dinner?” — your options always change.
This week was particularly head-swiveling.
Here’s an update. NOTE: I wrote this last night, so it might not be the latest news.
Jasmine — closed since 2010 — may reopen as the Blue Parrot by October. The landmark building at the corner of Saugatuck Avenue and Charles Street — known for 44 years as the Arrow — will feature live music.
That’s a no-brainer. There’s a lack of those places in town — and the new owner is Adam Lubarsky. The 1973 Staples grad was the long-time owner of the Georgetown Saloon, one of the shit-kickingest music venues around.
The Arrow restaurant became Jasmine. This fall, it will reopen as the Blue Parrot.
Around the corner, Saugatuck Grain and Grape — a liquor store — earned a Planning and Zoning Commission 5-space parking waiver to open a wine bar at 40 Railroad Place. The spot is currently a realty company. But the block — across from the westbound railroad station platform — is a hospitable place for eating and drinking. Mario’s and Tarantino have been there forever.
As previously reported, plans are moving ahead for 2 new places on the west bank of the Saugatuck River, near National Hall: Safita (Mid-Eastern) and Moja (Brazilian sushi).
Of course, when one (restaurant) door opens, another closes. V — a 15-year mainstay on the Post Road near Maple Avenue — closed last Sunday. The reason had nothing to do with business; it was one of Westport’s most popular basic- food-in-a-nice-atmosphere places. An old-fashioned lease dispute did V in.
Meanwhile, Energy Kitchen — a small chain offering grilled, baked or steamed items, all under 500 calories — will have to wait a bit longer before offering its “fast food, not fat food.”
The P&Z held off voting on Energy Kitchen’s application, citing parking issues in the proposed Playhouse Square location. While the restaurant’s consultant, former P&Z director Mel Barr, said there was plenty of space — he said a 14-day lunch-hour survey showed an average of 14 spots — the P&Z was not buying it.
I don’t either. I live in the condos right behind Playhouse Square, so you can accuse me of NIMFY on this. But if you’ve been in that lot lately — for the post office, the new Achorn Pharmacy, the long-established Organic Market or anyplace else — you know there are seldom 2.7 parking spaces available, let alone 27.
Finally, Terrain. The new garden shop next to the fire station has drawn much attention for its wide variety of plants and garden goods (plus its own parking problems).
Terrain’s restaurant — before the rush.
But there’s a restaurant there too — quite a popular one, my spies say.
There are still a few kinks in the kitchen. Yet the staff works very creatively to solve them. Check out this review by interior designer Olga Adler, on her blog. (Hat tip to alert “06880” reader William Adler, for sending this along).
I was very excited about dining at Terrain, as it is run by people who support locally grown food and only use fresh and organic ingredients. I had high expectations. I wanted to see lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
We arrived on time and even though we had a reservation we were seated at a table all the way in the back and just 2 feet from the kitchen door. …After a short wait we were led outside by an unapologetic hostess. We liked the setting and got immediately lost in a conversation.
I studied (my menu), only to realize there is only one vegetarian option in entrees – the dreaded “vegetarian platter.” I ordered fish instead and moved on. William, also scared of the “platter” ordered a bunch of sides – a vegetarian’s rescue in vegetarian-unfriendly eateries.
About 20 minutes later (as I pictured my fish slowly cooking on the grill) our waitress (who saved the evening with her good sense of humor and desserts on the house) informed us that the kitchen ran out of fish. She asked me and my friend to choose a replacement, but gave us hope that the chef may find another kind of fish after all.
I wanted to find out where exactly he would go fishing at that late hour. It turned out a fish scout was sent to Whole Foods, in an attempt to save our original order. Meanwhile, we were almost done with the first bottle of wine and the situation seemed more funny than annoying.
The salads arrived and they were OK. The second bottle of wine was even better than the first (isn’t that always the case?) and finally we got the good news – the fish is here and ready!
My dish was very good, William liked his veggie combo, and by the time the free deserts arrived we were happy.
(Bonus restaurant news: Remember Positano’s patio? Last week the P&Z voted unanimously to reject their application to lease town-owned land — beachfront property built illegally 12 years ago, by a previous restaurant — for outdoor dining.)
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