Cold Fusion opened Thursday. From the moment the new gelato place served its first scoop, it was packed.
It’s on Main Street near Avery Place, in the former Papyrus space next to Chase Bank.
Or, to put it another way: opposite the old Remarkable Book Shop.
Relative newcomers know it as the long-shuttered Talbots (soon to be, remarkably, Local to Market, selling fresh produce, food and artisan craft items, all produced around here).
Cold Fusion owners (and longtime Westporters) Eric and Kelly Emmert know their history. As they planned their store, they knew they wanted to honor their long-ago neighbor.
For 34 years, an Edward Gorey-inspired dancing figure hung on the side of the Remarkable Book Shop.
Now — after all these years — he’s back.
With a different point of view. He’s inside Cold Fusion — occupying the spot he gazed out upon, for all those years.
The Remarkable Book Shop was owned by Sidney and Esther Kramer. (The store’s perfect name includes “Kramer,” spelled backward.) Their children, Mark and Wendy, have loaned the iconic work of art to the Emmerts.
Esther made her store a Westport landmark. Shelves were filled with books on every topic imaginable. Cozy, overstuffed chairs (and a house cat named Heathcliffe) invited browsers to sit, read, linger and talk to each other long before “store experiences” were a thing.
Esther knew every customer’s name, from Paul Newman and writers to young children. She and her team of loyal, learned employees remembered everyone’s interests and tastes, and happily recommended the next good read.
Warm, friendly and funky, the pink store was a community gathering place from 1960 until 1994.
That’s the kind of feeling the Emmerts hope to recreate at Cold Fusion. Bringing the Remarkable Guy back is a great way to start.