For a place that looks almost exactly like as it did 7 decades ago, Christie’s has seen a lot.
For decades, Christie Masiello and her nephew Don ran the Cross Highway store as a country market. Nearby residents bought milk, eggs and produce there.
When the Masiellos finally sold it, there were changes (including a brief, forgettable moment as a dry cleaner).
In 2009 John and Renee Hooper bought it, and brought back the comfy, community gathering place vibe. They added burritos, prepared foods, Frosty Bear ice cream and a Sunday farmers’ market.
The couple wanted to offer brunch in the winter by the fire, and on the porch in the summer, plus a limited dinner menu. But state regulations prohibit expanding the septic system — a prerequisite for the changes — so after 9 years the Hoopers closed Christie’s.
Chef’s Table took over in April 2019, adding premium sandwiches, soups and a salad bar. But it closed this past January. Owner Rich Herzfeld said, “Very simply, the location didn’t work out for us.”
Jonathan Mathias thinks it can work for him. The 1977 Weston High School graduate — who for 20 years has built A Dash of Salt into a full-service catering firm with clients throughout the tri-state area, and as far as Maine and Florida — had long been encouraged by Christie’s owner, Tim Purcell, to give it a try.
Now Jonathan wants to.
He’s got some intriguing ideas. He’d transform the patio, with inviting seating, and hang rattan swings by the entrance. He’d bring back the ice cream hut, and sell Arethusa dairy products from Litchfield inside. He’d offer pick-up Community Supported Agriculture boxes from a farm partner, and local fresh eggs too.
With a bit of attention and fixing up, Jonathan says, Christie’s could be vibrant and exciting. He mentions Harbor Market in Sag Harbor as a model.
But he needs community support. He was buoyed by many positive comments when he floated the idea on Facebook.
Of course, online likes don’t translate into cold cash. Putting a first-class market requires extensive funding. Purchasing the building would be ideal. He’s looking for investors who share his vision.
Interested residents — or anyone who would like to know more — should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just tell him Christie Masiello sent you.