Tag Archives: Bridge Square

Scenes From A Storm: Part 4

“06880” readers were out in force today, capturing the force of the mostly-wind storm.

Wind gusts continue. A (very) brief period of sun gave way to more rain.

As of 2:45 p.m., Eversource was making steady headway with Westport’s power outages. There were 491 customers still without service — 3.87% of the town — down from earlier numbers. Weston reported 318 customers without electricity (8.16%).

Statewide, 61,792 customers lacked power (4.77%). 

Next up: plunging temperatures. Stay safe and warm, wherever you are!

Close to the pavilion …(Photo/Nathan Greenbaum)

… and the cannons. (Photo/Nathan Greenbaum)

Cool — or foolhardy? (Photo/Nathan Greenbaum)

Bridge Square (William Whitmal)

Saugatuck River, as it’s seldom seen … (Photo/Mark Taglia)

… and near the I-95 Exit 17 ramp, where a boat is seldom seen. (Photo/Patti Brill)

These baseballs floated out from one of the (flooded) Compo Cove garages. Only 52 days till the start of spring training! (Photo/Matt Murray)

Roundup: Sweetgreen, Bridge Square, Saugatuck …

Sweetgreen went before the Architectural Review Board last night.

The salad-and-bowl fast casual restaurant — with over 150 outlets in more than a dozen states — will replace Organic Krush. The “lifestyle eatery” replaced Chipotle less than 2 years ago. Board members were pleased with the new look. (There were no comments on the menu.)

Representatives from Bridge Square faced more questions, about the new look of that venerable plaza. Questions centered around architectural additions, the back (river) side, and color.

Ultimately, the ARB voted to let the project continue, with the recommendation that the owners come back with a new color scheme.

The ARB took the most time on a pre-application review of a text amendment for The Hamlet at Saugatuck, the proposed redevelopment of the area bordered by Riverside Avenue, Railroad Place and Charles Street.

No decisions were made. Members asked questions about height and architecture. ROAN Ventures, the project developer, continues the process with the ARB and Planning & Zoning Commission in September.

Part of the proposed Saugatuck Hamlet project.


One of Westport’s oldest best known liquor stores is for sale.

A commercial real estate listing for Greens Farms Spirit Shop says: “Prime location on well-traveled road. Fantastic selection of all types of Spirits, with experienced Staff. Full delivery service, and help with all Events, Weddings, as well as corporate outings. Truly a must see to get the full affect [sic] of the operation.”

It’s listed for $2,250,000. Click here for details. (Hat tip: Amy Swanson)


Hook’d — the Compo Beach concessionaire — remains controversial.

A few “06800” readers accused me of being too harsh, with my recent report that my request for a rare cheeseburger was denied.

That’s the Health Department looking out for beef eaters, apparently. (Don’t forget: The girl at the counter said that all their burgers are cooked the same: medium. I couldn’t have gotten mine well done, either).

So take this next item with a grain of salt. Alert reader Martin Iselin writes:

“Joey’s (the previous concessionaire) was known for one of the best hot dogs around. After a bike ride I always rewarded myself with one.

“After finishing a recent ride, I thought I’d try the new place. I ordered a hot dog, and asked if they had sauerkraut. No!

“I asked about relish. No!

“Disappointed, a put a little mustard on it. I don’t what brand they use, but it was so salty I could not eat it.

“What kind of beach summer place has no condiments, and such bad food?”

I’m guessing that’s a rhetorical question.


Marine Layer — the small clothing store next to the much bigger Gap — is closing August 1.

But they’ll reopen in late August, at a new location: 59 Main Street. They’re taking over Intermix.

I searched the “06880” archives for a mention of Marine Layer. Up popped a story from 2017.

It described a new group — Earth Guardians — that encouraged businesses to keep their doors shut when air conditioning (or heat) was on.

Of all the stores they visited, only one had its door closed: Marine Layer.

Marine Layer, with its door firmly closed.


Sarah Jane Cion snagged first place in the 17th annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition.

Tomorrow, she plays the magnificent Steinway — direct from the legendary Village Gate club — at Westport’s VFW (465 Riverside Avenue). It’s the next, and one of the most anticipated, “Jazz @ the Post” shows of the summer.

Cion has performed with legends like Clark Terry, Etta Jones, Anita O’Day, Bucky Pizzarelli and Don Braden, and is a regular at Birdland. Judges for her award-winning competition were Horace Silver, Kenny Barron, Ellis Marsalis, Benny Green and Bill Charlap.

Music begins at 7 p.m. The cover charge of $10 goes directly to the musicians.

For more information and schedules, click here or here. For table reservations, call 203-227-6796 or emailjazzatthepost@gmail.com.

Sarah Jane Cion


Tag sales wax and wane with the weather. We don’t see too many in winter — or summer.

But on Saturday, August 6 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; early bird special $10 for 8 a.m. entry), the Unitarian Church in Westport sponsors its always popular (and massive) sale.

Thousands of items are donated by dozens of families. Among them: outdoor tools, kitchenware, china, artwork, home décor, rugs, clothing, books, blankets, sheets, arm chairs, lamps — even a unicycle.

COVID knocked out the past couple of tag sales. So there’s plenty of merch — and demand 

Proceeds fund operating costs of the congregation, and the social justice causes they support.

A pre-COVID Unitarian Church tag sale.


The eagle has landed. And it stayed at Schlaet’s Point for at least half an hour.

Alert “06880” reader Mary Gai captured this magnificent bird — at least with her camera — for “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo?Mary Gai)


And finally … speaking of bad hot dogs …

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[OPINION] Time To Rethink Architecture, Design Choices

Longtime Westporter and alert “06880” reader Elisabeth Keane keeps a sharp eye on this town. She’s not pleased.

Elisabeth writes:

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at Bridge Square. The formerly charming historic waterfront has turned into absurd “farm-style” buildings. Yellow and green paint, and tin roofs and windows befit the “style du jour” architecture. (Most builders and architects are on the same design page, in the same design book.*) It is ugly and inappropriate.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

How did this type of  renovation (certainly not an improvement) get past avoid the town’s guidelines?  Yikes.

Are there any architectural guidelines for Westport?  The architectural charm of Westport is being devastated.

They ruined Sconset Square too, which used to be charming and New England-y. Now it resembles just another somewhat upscale strip mall, with tin roofs and black-appearing windows. I know it is still under construction but…

Sconset Square (Photo/Dan Woog)

Not to mention the sketch I saw of the the former Westport Inn (aka Delamar Westport).

At this rate, I don’t have high hopes for rejuvenating Main Street either. I think those uninspired strings of lights along both sides of Main Street more closely resemble the rows of lights strung up for a week above street fairs in the city. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for me those undistinguished strings of lights do not convey any artistic, unusual or thoughtful way to light our Main Street, in this still artistic and talented town. Did anybody consult a resident or local lighting professional (perhaps theatre or movie lighting) for advice?

Then there’s the chain link fence at Veterans Green. Seriously? One  might want to have that special place accessible.

Speaking of Myrtle Avenue: Whoever will be doing it better be very careful restoring Town Hall, and not messing up the exterior or interior.

And speaking of interiors: I hope the current interior decorating fad in public buildings will fade soon. Restaurants for some perverse reason seem to follow along lamely, with hard surfaces everywhere. The noise level is through the roof. Sound reverb requires everyone to speak LOUDLY. Seating is hard, not comfortable. The high bar stools are not for everybody — maybe in a corner of a bar, but not in a restaurant.

Restaurant ambiance is more than the food; it involves comfortable seating, and conversing in a normal tone, not yelling as at a sporting event.

*Design book: Look at all the houses built c. 2003-2005-ish, with faux Palladian windows. Is there really only one architectural design book? It’s cheaper that way, and it shows. I can only imagine what our most skilled and creative architects must think as they see these things…

Entitled Parking: It’s Baaaaack!

It’s been a while since “06880” has run an Entitled Parking photo.

In the early days of the pandemic, no one drove anywhere.

As traffic returned, there was a nice we’re-all-in-this-together kind of civility.

Most recently, Tropical Storm Isaias elicited even more neighbor-helping-neighborliness.

Today’s scene outside Dunkin’ at Bridge Square looks just like the old days, though.

Pic Of The Day #1004

Sunset over Saugatuck (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

Photo Challenge #256

There are some sights in Westport we pass by often, but don’t really “see.”

Once we spot them, though — or someone points them out to us — we will never again not notice them.

That’s the case with last week’s Photo Challenge. The wooden “06880” sign is part of a larger one that sits above the stores in Bridge Square, at the foot of the William F. Cribari Bridge where Bridge Street meets Riverside Avenue.

Once upon a time, it hung over Peter’s Bridge Market. There are other businesses there now — a Japanese restaurant and health food spot, for example — but much about Bridge Square remains unchanged. It’s a throwback, for sure. (Click here to see the image.)

Andrew Colabella, Robert Mitchell, Arthurt Hayes, Jonathan McClure, Amy Schneider and Mary Schmerker all knew that the “06880” sign is in Saugatuck. The next time you’re stopped in traffic there, look up.

You’ll never not notice it again.

Have you noticed this week’s Photo Challenge? If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Rose Porosoff)

Pic Of The Day #50

Early morning sky over Saugatuck (Photo/Dave Curtis)

Craning For A Look At Downtown

Alert “06880” reader Alan Hamilton flew a quadcopter up from his Riverside Avenue Raveis office this afternoon.

Here’s what he saw:

Downtown Westport - Alan Hamilton

Click on or hover over photo to enlarge.

The big open pit in the center of the photo is Bedford Square.

This spring will bring a very different view.

Art And Artois

After sketching Bridge Square yesterday, Jim Chillington prepared to relax.

Jim Chillington - Bridge Square

“Mature” Trees And A Younger Downtown

Judy James is worried about trees.

Last week, she emailed the Planning and Zoning Commission (with a cc to the Historic District Commission).

Judy — a longtime Westporter — expressed her “dismay at the lack of concern for the preservation of trees when presented with development plans within our commercial districts.” She referred to plans for Bedford Square — the YMCA-area complex — that eliminates mature trees on Church Lane.

A tree in front of the "Gunn House" (35 Church Lane) that will probably not survive the Bedford Square project.

A tree in front of the “Gunn House” (35 Church Lane) that will probably not survive the Bedford Square project.

“Replacement landscaping with grasses and small trees that won’t reach maturity until most adult residents have passed is simply not acceptable. Commercial owners who have the privilege of living and developing one of the most desirable downtown locations in the northeast should accommodate the retention of their town’s living history,” she said.

Referencing the removal of sycamores earlier this year at the site of the former Brook Cafe, she urged the P&Z to “not approve this project and just let ‘staff’ decide at a later date what would be acceptable landscaping…. As many of these mature trees as possible must be retained.”

Another possibly endangered tree -- this one in front of the YMCA.

Another possibly endangered tree — this one in front of the YMCA.

David Waldman is developing Bedford Square into stores, apartments and offices. I asked him to respond.

David said:

I am familiar with the letter and understand her position. Unfortunately, in order to accommodate the need for underground parking, wider pedestrian- friendly tree-lined sidewalks, street lamps and more importantly the already fully approved design and site plan by the HDC and Architectural Review Board,  the trees will have to be removed.

We will add 16 new trees (clearly not as old and mature as the 6 that exist on the sites today), but in a quantity much greater than exists today. In addition, there will be numerous planting beds, landscape planters, benches, public art, public parks and gathering spaces, pedestrian passages from Elm, Church, Post  and Main and much more.

The proposed intersection of Church Lane and Elm Street. David Waldman says, "I understand these renderings show the trees after year of growth. It is our intention to plant appropriately sized trees in the beginning, not saplings or tiny ones."

The proposed intersection of Church Lane and Elm Street. David Waldman says, “I understand these renderings show the trees after year of growth. It is our intention to plant appropriately sized trees in the beginning, not saplings or tiny ones.”

As developers we always try and retain as much history as possible. We have shown this in our current plan to retain the historic Bedford mansion and firehouse, as well as the work I have done with Patagonia, Urban Outfitters and Spotted Horse.

When we built the Spotted Horse, we removed 5 -6 very large tress and no one said a peep. Hopefully, the end result will be something all of Westport can be proud of.

A rendering of Church Lane. The Spotted Horse is at the left; the former YMCA is on the right.

A rendering of Church Lane. The Spotted Horse is at the left; the former YMCA is on the right.

Our team and all the commissions we have obtained approvals from to date are very pleased and proud with the new design that we (developers, residents, commission, HDC, ARB and many other groups) have collectively created. We feel by listening to all those interested groups, we have come up with a much better project.

Certainly, the Spotted Horse has added both energy and architectural spirit to Church Lane.

Plans for the rest of the area — including widening Church Lane and its sidewalks, and “fixing” its tough intersection with the Post Road — show plenty of greenery. True, it’s not all “mature” — but isn’t part of the problem with downtown that it’s a bit long in the tooth?