Tag Archives: Ignazio’s Pizza

Mangia! Ignazio’s Opens Monday

The long wait is over.

On Monday, Ignazio’s officially opens for business.

The new pizza place in the old Bertucci’s (and before that, the even older Tanglewoods and Clam Box) features both thin crust and Sicilian pizza, from a wood-fired oven.

Word of mouth already brought in customers. Louis Termini — who owned 7 Luna Pizzas in the Hartford area, and now runs the original (and very popular) Ignazio’s underneath the Brooklyn Bridge — handed out free slices all day today.

One man said, “I hope they’re as good as the hype.”

He wolfed it down. “It is!”

Some folks stopping by today were from Louis’ boyhood neighborhood. One went to high school with him.

“I gave them the Brooklyn treatment,” Louis says. “And they gave it right back to me.”

Ignazio’s shares space with 2 other new arrivals: One River School of Art + Design, and Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters.

Which means that complex now includes 3 of the most important things that make our town go: Art. Coffee. And pizza.

Ignazio’s pizza in Brooklyn, courtesy of TripAdvisor.

(Hat tip: Cara Zimon)

New Coffee Spot Brewing At Old Bertucci’s

Westport is blessed with many things.

We have art and artists. We have pizzerias and coffee shops up the wazoo.

But we don’t have a “coffee bar” — a place that serves ultra-premium, USDA organic-certified roasts.

That changes soon.

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters — currently killing it in Fairfield — will open its 2nd location. The site is the long-empty Bertucci’s building, on Post Road East by Long Lots Road.

Shearwater will share the space with (of course) One River School of Art + Design, and Ignazio’s Pizza.

Owner Ed Freedman’s company started 6 years ago in Trumbull, as a small batch roaster. They supply stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, and restaurants including Jesup Hall, The Whelk and Kawa Ni.

Two years ago they opened in the Brick Walk. Freedman says that customers — many from Westport, attracted by the bright space, knowledgeable baristas and (of course) great coffee — urged him to open here.

As in Fairfield, the new Shearwater will feature drinks like espresso and cold brew, along with small plates and salads.

“It will be warm, inviting and friendly — a place for everyone from millennials to retirees to enjoy great coffee,” Freedman promises.

A rendering of the interior of Westport’s Shearwater, by architect Amber Freedman.

He is proud of his “top-notch” customer service. In Fairfield, he says, baristas “really welcome people. They engage them, and help them select the right drink.”

Freedman believes that many people “tolerate” Starbucks coffee. “They add all kinds of flavors and sugars. That’s not us.”

Floor to ceiling windows and high ceilings will help make Shearwater a “real destination.” Freedman’s daughter Amber — an architect in Boston — designed both his coffee bars.

The Westport spot will be a destination in part because of its location near the Sherwood Island Connector, Freedman says.

He hopes to open in July. Ignazio’s hopes to open next month. River One’s grand opening is June 15-16.

There is still space for one tenant in the building.

Maybe a bank or nail spa?

Progress Report: The Old Bertucci’s Site

Last August 1, I reported that work was proceeding s-l-o-w-l-y  — yes, that was the technical term I used — at the former Bertucci’s property, on the Post Road near the Sherwood Island connector.

Now it’s exactly 6 months later. It’s still not finished. But the end is in sight.

Ignazio’s Pizza will — as noted previously — occupy part of the former Bertucci’s floor. This will be the 2nd location for the thin-crust restaurant. The original is in DUMBO — it is literally down underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

An art and design firm will take up another part of that floor. That leaves about 2,100 square feet still available — which is why the “Building For Lease/Space Available” signs has Westporters wondering if Ignazio’s was just pie in the sky.

The view from the parking lot.

Not to worry. Steve Straus — of Fred Straus Inc., the Yonkers-based family real investment company — says that exterior work is done. When Ignazio’s finishes their interior work, they’ll open.

And, Straus says, there are “very good prospects” for the remaining first floor space.

Upstairs, there’s another 2,840 square feet of office space to rent.

Straus is proud of his company’s new landscaping, sidewalk, rain garden, facade, parking lot and lighting on the spot that many Westporters will long remember as Bertucci’s. (Older generations recall Tanglewoods. Real old-timers know it as the Clam Box.)

Straus says that the redevelopment of the property coincides with the construction of the office/retail/residential complex across the street, at the Post Road/Long Lots junction. He believes it will create a “village” environment in that part of town.

As for what’s going on clear across town, in the old Blu Parrot/Jasmine/Arrow property by the train station parking lot: Mystic Market announced they were moving in — back in November 2017.

When they’ll actually open is anyone’s guess.