Tag Archives: Chubby Lane

Remembering Chubby Lane

Mark “Chubby” Lane — beloved by Westporters in the 1960s and ’70s as the Compo Beach concessionaire, and owner of the Chubby Lane’s restaurant on the Post Road — died earlier this month in Naples, Florida.

When he ran the hamburger stand at the beach — located where the volleyball courts are now — Chubby (who was actually not heavy at all) introduced innovations like walkie-talkie orders and delivery (employees tied balloons to patrons’ umbrellas to indicate their location), and fried chicken to augment the standard concession fare.

Employees (and I was one of them) wore blue button-down shirts, navy Bermuda shorts and high knee socks. We hated the uniform, but loved the job. Chubby was an understanding and very fair boss. His $1.25 per hour wage in 1969 seemed quite fair.

His restaurant — where Willows Pediatrics is now, next to the Westport Inn and across from ASF — offered the first $1 hamburger in town. The meat for both the restaurant and beach stand was excellent. It was ground daily at Charpentier’s butcher shop across from Chubby’s (today it’s Border Grille).

Before retiring to Florida, Chubby and his wife lived in Delaware.

Details on survivors and services are unavailable. Chubby’s brother, longtime Staples High School football coach Paul Lane, died last year, at 93.

Chubby Lane’s Compo Beach concession stand. (Photo courtesy of Liz Doyle Boyd)

Friday Flashback #194

One day — sooner rather than later, hopefully — the Compo Beach snack bar will open.

A new concessionaire replaces Joey’s by the Shore. After 31 years, there will be a new look and feel to the familiar brick building.

It seems like it’s always been there, smack in the middle of the boardwalk. But for most of its existence, that was actually part of the bathhouses.

The concession stand was located a few yards north — where the volleyball courts are now. Low-slung and wooden, it had even more of a “beach shack” feel than the current one.

And because there were a few parking spaces in front — just before the drop-off area where the Soundview exit road begins — anyone could drive up and walk in. You didn’t need a beach sticker.

(Photo courtesy of Liz Doyle Boyd)

Working at Chubby’s was a coveted job. I was hired the summer after 10th grade. Despite the dorky uniform (blue button-down shirt, dark blue shorts, high socks), I had a blast.

I loved my co-workers. I got free food. I was at the beach. Life did not get better than that.

PS: A few years earlier, Chubby pioneered “delivery.” Employees wandered up and down the sand. They called in orders by walkie-talkie, and tied a ribbon on the customer’s chair. Someone else then brought the order.

That service was gone by the time I worked there. Maybe the new concessionaire can bring it back?

BONUS FEATURE: Chubby’s beach success led to a year-round restaurant on Post Road East. It’s now the site of Willows Pediatrics, next to the Westport Inn.

Chubby Lane’s featured the first $1 hamburger in town — with meat from Charpentier’s butcher across the street (now Border Grille) — and killer onion rings. I worked there also, wearing that same ridiculous outfit.

I had a blast there too.

This is actually the Bantam Restaurant, a predecessor of Chubby Lane’s. But when he owned it, it looked the same.