Tag Archives: Hook’d by the Sound

Roundup: Trash, Burgers, Nature …

In my ongoing crusade to call out Westport’s entitled slobs where I see them, I’m posting this photo from yesterday evening at the Compo Beach pavilion.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

Note the trash can 3 steps away from the abandoned, garbage-strewn table.

Note also the yellow toy shovel, behind the far carton. So it’s adults who walked away from this mess.

Kids learn by watching. Good luck in a few years trying to get them to clean their rooms.

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After dumping their mess, I headed to Hook’d.

Sure, I’ve been hard on them. But I wanted to give them a chance.

Plus, I was hungry.

I ordered a rare cheeseburger.

“I’m sorry,” the very nice girl at the counter said. “We can’t do that. They’re all the same — medium.”

Wow.

It’s a rare hamburger stand indeed that can’t handle that simple request.

Open, for medium hamburgers only. (Photo/Karen Como)

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It’s classic movie time at the Remarkable Theater next week.

“Dirty Dancing” — postponed from last week — will be screened at the Imperial Avenue drive-in on Monday (July 25, 8:30 p.m.; gate opens at 7:30 for tailgating).

On Wednesday (July 27, 8:15 p.m.; gate opens at 7:15), “Grease” is the word.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Compo gets most of the love.

But there’s lots to see and do at Sherwood Island State Park too.

The Nature Center sizzles on Sundays, Thursdays and Fridays. For example:

July 24 (1- to 2 p.m.): Five Irish musicians (the Shamrogues) play. They’re part of the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society, which meets Wednesdays at 7at the Gaelic American Center in Fairfield.

July 24, August 14 (2 to 3 p.m.): Birds of Prey ambassador Siobhan, from Earthplace. An owl? Hawk? Vulture? Find out, and learn how to draw ne.

July 28 August 4, August 11 (1 p.m.):Bug Walk. Every Thursday there’s a treasure hunt to find interesting bugs in the gardens. Learn how to report your findings on iNaturalist, and much more.

July 29, July 31, August 5 (1 p.m.): Bird Walk. Learn about the birds around the Nature Center, including the pair of osprey and their 3 chicks, and the dozens of purple martins. 310 species of birds have been observed at Sherwood Island!

August 7 (2 to 3:30 p.m.).  The popular Turtle’s Back program returns, with up to 8 species of turtles found in Connecticut. Touch, draw and learn about them all.

August 21 (2 to 3:30 p.m.): Butterfly Walk. Expert Michele Sorensen leads a walk along the dunes to find buckeyes, swallowtails, sulphurs, fritillaries, monarchs and more. Bring binoculars and cameras.

September 9 (6 to 8:30 p.m.) Friends of Sherwood Island’s Shorefest annual fundraiser and silent auction. Tickets go on sale in early August:

Admission to everything (except the fundraiser) is free, with a Connecticut license plate! Click here for more information.

Nature abounds at Sherwood Island. (Photo/Maureen Salko)

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15 Y’s Men raced — er, drove carefully — to 2 luxury automobile locations yesterday.

They toured Autostrada — the classic car and event space club at the old Steinway piano showroom — and Maserati of Westport, not far away.

They heard about trends in high-end cars. And they learned that about half of the Maserati dealer’s customers come from right here in town. (Hat tip: Dave Matlow)

Autostrada owner Gioel Molinari (far right) welcomes Y’s Men yesterday. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Daniel Silva’s new novel, “Portrait of an Unknown Woman,” continues the character of Gabriel Allon, the Israeli spy/artist/restorer.

Surprise! Westport features in the first few chapters, via an art expert in Saugatuck.

That’s all we’ll say, about one of the summer’s hottest beach reads. (Hat tip: Jilda Mankas)

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Jonathan Prager’s lovely lily starts the weekend off on a nice “Westport … Naturally” note.

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)

And finally … to get you in the mood for Wednesday’s Remarkable Theater drive-in feature:

(Here’s another word: “06880” is completely reader-supported. Please click here to contribute.)

Roundup: The Porch, Hooked, Playhouse Gala …

“06880”‘s Unsung Hero feature runs every Wednesday.

But this story — reported first on Facebook’s “Westport Front Porch” page — deserves to be told today. J. Van Burke wrote:

“Huge shout-out to The Porch @ Christie’s.

“My friend and her family were visiting from Kansas. As parents of a child with Down syndrome they wanted to support a business that gives employment opportunities to all, so we went for breakfast at The Porch.

“My friend left her purse there, and only realized it when they were on to their next stop in Rhode Island.

“The lovely folks at The Porch had it overnighted to her — and even included some treats for her kids to enjoy in the parcel. Such thoughtfulness and kindness should be applauded.”

Absolutely! Among Westport’s treasures, The Porch @ Christie’s stands @ the top of any list.

The Porch @ Christie’s co-owner Bill Pecoriello, on the porch.

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Westport was hopping yesterday evening.

The Levitt Pavilion was packed, for a Santana tribute band. Restaurants were jammed too, with outdoor diners. A huge crowd thronged Compo’s South Beach, for the 9th annual “06880” blog party.

Meanwhile, elsewhere at Compo, on one of the most beautiful nights of the year, Hook’d — the concessionaire — closed early.

At least they gave a few folks warning, via text. (Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

Despite the posted hours, Hook’d closed early last night. (Photo/Matt Murray)

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Sure, it’s hot. But the show must go on.

So it will: indoors.

Tomorrow’s (Saturday, July 23, 7 p.m.) “Broadway through the Ages” concert at MoCA will be inside the gallery, rather than out on the lawn. It stars 2013 Staples High School graduate Michelle Pauker, with music direction by Juilliard & Oxford Academy composer Jake Landau — a 2013 classmate of Michelle’s.

Entry to the museum’s “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” exhibit is included in the admission. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Michelle Pauker

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Renée Elise Goldsberry — Angelica Schuyler in “Hamilton” — headlines the return of the Westport Country Playhouse’s gala benefit. She’ll perform Broadway, pop and soul songs on Saturday, September 17.

The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail party, including a live auction and raffle. Her 8 p.m. performance is followed by an after-party, with a DJ and dancing. The host is Robin de Jesús, from “In the Heights.”

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Renee Elise Goldsberry

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Congratulations to Mo Deegan: a recent inductee into the Little East Conference Hall of Fame.

The Staples High School graduate is one of the most accomplished multi-sport athletes in Eastern Connecticut State University history. She earned All-America, All-Region and All-League honors in field hockey and lacrosse. Several of her records still stand.

This is her second Hall of Fame. In 2014, she was inducted into ECSU’s Athletics Alumni HOF.

Mo Deegan

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Julie Blume enjoyed this beautiful visitor to her Bonnie Brook Road home yesterday.

There’s always something new — and wondrous — in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Julie Blume)

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And finally … you might not know his name, but if you grew up in the 1970s you knew his voice.

William Hart, lead singer and songwriter of the Grammy-winning group the Delfonics, died last week in Philadelphia, from complications during surgery. He was 77. Click here for a full obituary.

(“06880” relies on reader donations. Please click here to contribute.)

Westport’s Mask Mandate: Whose Business Is It?

Some people have wondered about this.

Others have not thought about it at all.

“06880” reader India van Voorhees writes:

“Do you know if there’s any enforcement of the mask mandate here in Westport, and if there are any fines for noncompliance?”

(Masks are currently mandated indoors — including town facilities  and schools — though there are certain exemptions.)

“It seems that, except for supermarkets and drugstores, a lot of businesses aren’t paying attention to the rule.

Masks are once again mandated indoors in Westport. (“Mask Quilt” by Amy Schneider)

“For example, one of the regular employees at Organic Market never wears a mask, and the boss often wears his under his nose. I love that place, and the people there,  but I won’t go in again until the mask mandate is rescinded or COVID is under control.

“Same with the Exxon gas station at 1510 Post Road East. The employees were not wearing masks the last — and I mean last — time I went inside.

“And it’s the same with Hook’d on the Sound. People are in line without masks and employees are behind the counter without masks- even though there’s a sign that says masks are required.

“Employees were wearing masks last time I went down to Joey’s by the Shore, at Elvira’s.”

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

“Is our only option to avoid those places?  Or can something be done?”

It’s a great question. Enforcement of the mask mandate — nationally, throughout the pandemic — has been difficult. The town website page on the subject makes no mentions of consequences, though a link to Governor Lamont’s executive order indicates a fine of $100, and empowers “local health directors, district health directors, and their designees; state and municipal police officers and peace officers” to enforce it. Fines go to the state’s General Fund.

“06880” readers: What do you think?

Should Westport enforce the mask mandate more vigorously? If so, should there be dedicated patrols, or a reliance on citizen complaints? Or is this one of those squishier rules, like picking up dog poop or rolling through stop signs?

Click “Comments” below. And if you’ve had a personal experience involving someone without a mask indoors, please let us know too.

Food Trucks Feast On Uneven Playing Field

Most Westporters are familiar with Joey’s by the Shore — the great deli/burger/ice cream spot that replaced Elvira’s near Old Mill Beach — and Hook’d, the Compo concessionaire that has taken over from (yes) Joey’s.

We’re familiar too with trucks that serve coffee and snacks to construction crews, along with fuller-service food trucks, and others specializing in ice cream.

An “06880” reader was thinking about all of that the other day. He put 2 + 2 together.

It did not compute.

He watched in surprise as a truck parked, blocking Joey’s few parking spaces on Compo Hill. A customer who had been about to enter the store turned, and ordered instead from the truck.

It wasn’t just market supply and demand, the “06880” reader realized. It’s that the market playing field is not level.

A hard-working businessman. But not a direct taxpayer in town.

Joey’s owners pay property taxes. Joey pays rent. Hook’d has an expensive contract with the town.

Food truck owners are supposed to pay $35, for an annual Westport Weston Health District license. They are not allowed to operate on town-owned property (including Compo Beach or Soundview Drive, Longshore, Little League fields, and at or near functions like Slice of Saugatuck and the Yankee Doodle Fair).

Food trucks may also not operate “on the main traveled portion of any public roadway, interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or remain stationary for an extended period of time.”

Of course, they do.

Food trucks — including the popular Good Humor man — are supposed to be prohibited from selling on Soundview Drive.

Intrigued by the “06880” reader’s email, I asked the WWHD how many food trucks are actually licensed by the town.

There are 11: Alene’s Ice Cream, Alley Kat Pizza, Aramark Business Dining, Bee’s Knees Ice Pops, Bubble & Brew,  Christopher’s Crepes, Parlor Wilton Pizza, Skip’s Ice Cream, Super Duper Weenie, The Granola Bar and Walrus & Carpenter.

Not a coffee truck among them.

Food trucks serve hungry construction workers, for sure. Their owners are hard workers, trying to make a living.

But owners of Joey’s and Hook’d — and other places around town, like the Porch @ Christie’s and The Country Store Deli on Wilton Road — must wonder: What would happen if I operated without a license or permit too?

Roundup: Senior Center, Morningside South, Joey’s Delivery …

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It’s the news seniors have been waiting for.

Starting July 1, the Senior Center will reopen. It’s limited, sure — but it will be wonderful for the thousands of Westporters who rely on our great center.

The phased reopening will include in-house, outdoor, hybrid, televised and Zoom classes all summer long.

Director Sue Pfister and her staff have meticulously established safety protocols. They includes enhanced air-handlers, sanitizers, and other CDC-guided precautions.

There’s also a canopy over part of the back patio, to extend outdoor space.

The congregate luncheon program will remain closed until September. In addition, summer plans will not include drop-in visits or congregating during the initial reopening phase. Water fountains will not be available, so participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle from home.

Senior Center participants must pre-register with the new registration system MyActiveCenter (https://myactivecenter.com/) to sign up for activities, classes, and programs.  For instructions and a list of upcoming courses, please visit www.westportct.gov/seniorcenter or call 203-341-5099.

Back in action soon!

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For months, Westporters have wondered about the fate of the Kowalsky property. The large tract of land on Morningside Drive South and Clapboard Hill Road is some of the last privately owned open space in town.

Part of it is now on the market. The real estate listing says:

Perc tests and a Conceptual Plan are now available outlining a proposed 8 Bedroom home, Infinity Edge Swimming Pool and Septic. Build your dream home on this prestigious 2.0 Acre property in a well established Greens Farms neighborhood.

This property is truly majestic with part ownership of a man made pond, and several character outbuildings. This sought after location is less than a mile to Metro North/Greens Farms train station and Burying Hill Beach. Two homes on Morningside Drive South (# 90 and # 88) have SOLD within the year, both currently in stages of being torn down for over a million dollars an acre. There is value here on this special piece of land.

This is a Land listing. The home on the property is ‘As Is’. As with any Land listing, buyers to perform their own due diligence.

117 Morningside Drive South.

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Plenty of people like Hook’d on the Sound, the new Compo Beach concessionaire.

Plenty do not like the fact that it closes at 6 p.m.

The previous snack bar tenant — Joey’s by the Shore — stayed open till dark. Two years ago, he relocated to the former Elvira’s, around the corner across from Old Mill Beach.

Now Joey’s has introduced a delivery service to Compo. It’s available Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can order online. Enter “2 Soundview Drive” as the delivery address. Your food will be delivered — in a thermal bag, with no extra charge — at the pickup/ dropoff location next to the Compo volleyball courts.

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The undefeated, nationally ranked Staples High School rugby team kicked off its national tournament quest in Kansas City yesterday with a 26-22 win against St. Thomas Aquinas. The Wreckers are ranked #5; Aquinas was #4. The temperature at the start was 100.

Little Barn The Little Barn in Westport is the local site for viewing. The next match is tonight (6 p.m.), against #1 Herriman from Utah.

Watching yesterday’s game at Little Barn. (Photo/Terry Brannigan)

Previewing the tournament, a rugby publication described Staples as “the best-kept secret of the tournament. (They have) compiled one heck of a season up in Connecticut. Winners over big dogs Xavier, Greenwich, and Fairfield, these boys are battle-tested and battle-accomplished. Jot them down as your dark horse now.”

For more information on the national rugby tournament, click here.

Staples rugby in action, earlier this year.

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Wakeman Town Farm kicks off its farm stand season tomorrow (Saturday, June 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Every Saturday, the Cross Highway stand features farm-grown veggies, baked goods, honeys, Shearwater coffee, Wave Hill breads, Kneads pastries, Pam’s Jams, Guardians farm goat soap & lotion, plus logowear.

Tomorrow’s fresh produce offerings include collard greens, lettuce, kale, peas, radishes, garlic scapes, Chinese green onions, strawberries (limited quantities!), and herbs.

This year, WTF expands its offerings with a rotating list of local guest vendors. This week they welcome Lorenza Arnal, creator of Alma de Mexico’s homemade salsas, and Sk*p, a sustainably packaged hair & body care line with local roots.

PS: Visitors can also say hi to the WTF animals.

Teagan Smith, at the WTF farm stand.

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Tomorrow is also the day for Westport Paddle Club’s great Saugatuck River cleanup. Everyone is welcome to jump in a kayak, then pick up debris.

It starts around 5 p.m. — an hour or so before high tide — so you can paddle up with the tide, then drift back with it too.

Everyone will be back before 8. It will still be light — and time to party. Jr’s Deli & Grille provides the grub. (Click here for details.)

To get in the mood, check out last night’s report on News12. Even if you can’t make it tomorrow, you’ll learn a lot about the river. And the drone views are outstanding!

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Looking for action, entertainment and laughs?

The Remarkable Theater’s upcoming shows include:

  • “Black Panther” (Monday, June 21)
  • “The Birdcage” (Wednesday, June 23)
  • “The Breakfast Club” (Monday, June 28)

All shows begin at 8:45 p.m. Gates open at the Imperial Avenue parking lot at 7:45, for tailgating. Click here for tickets.

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Westport’s own Dale Najarian is one of 5 features artists at George Billis Gallery‘s new pop-up exhibit, “Summer Escape.”

It opens today (Friday, June 18), with an open reception from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibit runs through July 25.

“Summer Escape” includes oceans, beaches, pool scenes, waterscapes, and paintings inspired by travel in the US and Europe.

George Billis Gallery is at 166 Main Street. It’s open every day except Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

“Compo Beach,” oil on canvas (Dale Najarian)

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Staples High School’s Class of 1976 is planning their 45th reunion. And — in the spirit of ’76 — they’re doing more than their share.

The July 30-31 weekend includes parties at the Black Duck and Compo Beach. They’ve added a “Great Gatsby” town tour.

And — because several classmates volunteer with CLASP Homes, the supportive housing organization for people with developmental disabilities (and Tracy Flood works there), the reunion-goers will do yard projects at the site. (They might not even know that CLASP was founded in 1976!)

Class of ’76 members seeking more information can email staples76reunion@gmail.com.

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“Westport … Naturally” finds us today at Burying Hill Beach:

(Photo/Wendy Levy)

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And finally … in honor of Staples High School’s 450-plus graduates yesterday, here is Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”

The whole thing. But if you want just the traditional processional march, it starts at 1:57.

 

Hook’d Hopes To Reel In Westporters

Nadine Wilf grew up on the beach in Jamaica. She loved her career in restaurants, and as a private chef.

Her new office is her favorite yet. And why not? It’s at Compo Beach.

The Wilton resident is the general manager of Hook’d on the Sound. The concession stand opened last week.

The pandemic posed challenges — including a year-long delay in construction workers and materials.

But Hook’d is here. Early reviews are very favorable. And — with the possible exception of her boss, owner Itai Shoffman — no one is more excited than Wilf.

Nadine Wilf, Itai Shoffman and the new Hook’d logo.

She shares his vision of Hook’d as “beach life, with a bit of sophistication.” With a full breakfast lunch and dinner menu, smoothies, soft-serve ice cream, “wonderful service” — and more on the way, like a candy bar, retail store featuring local artisans, and plantings outside — she hopes there is something for everyone.

Shoffman grew up in Greenwich, but had Westport friends and spent time at Compo. He operated public spaces professionally, and jumped at the chance to bid on the Westport concession.

“It’s an amazing space,” the owner says. “It deserves something special.” Most concessions — even Tod’s Point, his familiar Greenwich beach — do not have the same large area or level of amenities.

Over the past year, the former Joey’s by the Shore has been completely gutted. There is new paint, new equipment, new tiles on the counter, and a new logo.

Also new: the option to order online (www.hookdonthesound.com — the website will be live soon). A text will be sent when the order is ready. A special line for pickup will help ease crowds.

As with Joey’s, house accounts are available.

Like Joey’s, Hook’d has hired local help. Of the 32 cashiers — including auxiliary operations at Longshore’s golf halfway house (already open) and pool (open by this weekend) — Wilf says that all but 3 are Westporters.

Some of the staff, ready to serve. (Photos/Dan Woog)

Hours are tentatively 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends, 9 to 7 on weekends. But there were crowds the first Friday, so they kept the doors open. Later hours may be coming.

All employees are masked. Because Shoffman rents a town building, Parks & Recreation signage will soon be posted, recommending masks in the indoor space.

The Parks and Rec staff has been very helpful, he notes. On Saturday, they helped haul tables and umbrellas.

Shoffman and Wilf plan special events — perhaps a barbecue day, or working with the Rotary Club on its annual LobsterFest in September.

Long before then, he hopes, Westporters will be hooked on his new concession stand.

(To see the Hook’d menu, click here.)