Tag Archives: Freshii

1 Parker Harding Problem Solved. 999 To Go.

Our long national nightmare is over.

Okay, maybe not. But at least Parker Harder Plaza’s dumpster problem has been solved.

For several years, the big green receptacles near Starbucks have spilled garbage, attracted rodents, and sent this message to downtown visitors: “Blech!

parker-harding-dumpster

No more!

Recently the Westport Downtown Merchants Association added a cleanup crew, initiated pest control, helped store owners review protocol and “addressed regular abusers.”

Ta da!

parker-harding-dumpster

Work is not finished. Still ahead: installation of upgraded and “significantly more attractive” enclosures.

We won’t hold our breath.

But at least while we don’t, we won’t hold our noses when we want some fresh food at Freshii.

Friday Flashback #7

Earlier this week, I wrote about the exciting transformation plan for the Westport Library. If all goes well, the newest iteration of the library will be finished in 2019.

The Jesup Green building opened in 1986 (on the site of the former town landfill). A bit more than a decade later, it underwent its first renovation.

Westporters of a certain age think they remember the original library. Most of the stacks — and the famous art collection, and children’s section — were housed in the sterile Parker Harder building that now includes Starbucks, Freshii and HSBC Bank:

library-old

But the real first library — built in 1908, called the Jesup Library in honor of its benefactor Morris Jesup, and then in the 1950s incorporated as part of the “new” library — was located just east of that building. It sat on the corner of the Post Road and Main Street:

library-original

But our Friday Flashback digs even deeper than that.

Here’s what that 1908 “Jesup Library” replaced:

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

(Photo/Seth Schachter via Bill Scheffler)

This view looks west, at the corner of the Post Road (left) and Main Street (right). You can see the outlines of the buildings that are there today, lining the left side of Main Street.

If you’ve got any Westport Library memories, we’d love to hear them. Click “Comments” below.

Green & Tonic Picks Up Westport’s Crumbs

Decadent, high-priced cupcakes did not work here. Twice.

Jeffrey Pandolfino is betting the 3rd time — with real food — will be the charm.

He owns Green & Tonic. The smoothie/salad/wrap/bowl/cleanse company just opened its 5th location here in Westport.

Green & Tonic moves eastward, from Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien and New Canaan. The new spot is the Jesup Green/Taylor Place corner vacated by bankrupt Crumbs.

Westporters poured into Green & Tonic last night.

Westporters poured into Green & Tonic last night.

Last night’s opening was packed. (It helped that everything was free.)

Green & Tonic’s tagline is “Revive with real food.” The menu offers “plant-based food and drink for everyday eating.” It ranges from berry and acai “power bowls,” through wheatgrass and bee pollen boosters, to salads like pomegranate kale with quinoa, and on into a sunflower seed tuna wrap and a curried lentil brown rice bowl.

There are also “cleanse programs and meal plans,” for those who want to “get back to basics.”

Green & Tonic owner Jeffrey Pandolfino.

Green & Tonic owner Jeffrey Pandolfino.

So how is Green & Tonic different from Freshii (across the street)? Pandolfino points to greater variety, and the ease of picking up pre-made meals.

“We’re the healthy Starbucks,” he said. “We want to be the place you come to every day.”

Also from, presumably, right across the street.

The Green & Tonic philosophy is never far from customers' minds.

The Green & Tonic philosophy is never far from customers’ minds.

 

Freshii Finds A Foothold

The fact that the old Westport Library building — opposite what will soon be the former Klaff’s — now houses a Starbucks is seen by some longtime Westporters as a symbol of how the town changes.

Freshii logoAnother symbol is on the way. Freshii — a strangely spelled “fast casual” restaurant offering  salads, burritos, wraps, quinoa and rice bowls, yogurts, breakfast, soups, juices and smoothies, all made with high-quality, fresh ingredients — opens soon in the same former library building.

The address is both 1 Main Street, and 19 Post Road East. There will be entrances on the Post Road, and Parker Harding Plaza.

The franchisee — who owns the rights to all of Fairfield and Westchester Counties, though this is his 1st location — has a name as odd as Freshii.

Jon Blob (when his German grandfather arrived at Ellis Island, “Bloh” somehow changed) has a background in restaurants — via the financial world. He’s invested and analyzed plenty of them, and is very excited about this one.

“I spent almost 2 years thinking about career paths other than New York finance,” Blob says. “I have a good handle on restaurants.” He heard about Freshii, did due diligence with the CEO, and loves “where the brand is going, and what it stands for.”

Still a bit of work to do, to freshen up Freshii's entrance.

Still a bit of work to do, to freshen up Freshii’s entrance.

Founded in Toronto, and now in 70 or so locations internationally, Freshii is part of a growing market niche. It offers healthy, quick meals — sit-down or takeout — that’s in between fast food and an upscale restaurant.

Blob says the demographics of Westport are perfect for Freshii: “a health-conscious, fit, active customer base, with disposable income.”

Freshii will seat 25 inside, and 25 more outdoors on a Post Road patio.

And — this being Westport (and the former library) — there’s free WiFi too.