Tag Archives: Ignazio’s Pizza

Roundup: Teardowns, Trees, Tony La Russa, More


Yesterday’s Roundup noted the upcoming demolition of 14 Hillandale Road — writer A.E. Hotchner’s longtime home — as part of the construction of Authors Way, a new 4-house subdivision.

Developer Rick Benson says that while the Historic District Commission permit allows teardown any time after Monday (January 11), the final Planning & Zoning Commission hearing is next Thursday (January 14). It’s unlikely, he says, that demolition work will start for a few weeks.

He notes that the house lacks a satisfactory foundation; has no full cellar, first floor bathroom, insulation or central HV/AC system, and has rusted 1920 iron windows.

In addition, Benson says, it lands in the setbacks of the new lot layouts.

14 Hillandale Road


Also slated to be torn down: 27 Gorham Avenue. The home was built in 1933.

27 Gorham Avenue (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)


David Meth writes:

“On Wednesday night, to take a break from the dull routine of daily life and obscene anxiety of politics and pandemic, and actually run away from the assault of the news, a friend and I decided to go out for a delicious pizza at Ignazio’s next to the Sherwood Diner.

“It made the day, because it reminded us of the importance of a pizza and conversation, a glass of beer or wine, a burger at the diner, cup of coffee at the local café … just getting together and talking to one another without devices and electronic interruptions is so wonderfully refreshing and important—and how much we miss the tradition and sense of community of just being with friends, even strangers, to remember who we are as people.”

Remember normal life?


Residents of the Punch Bowl/Gault Park area have noticed a number of trees cut down recently — and others marked with the tape that means their end is near too.

Town tree warden Bruce Lindsay says it’s part of Eversource’s effort to target high-risk trees that could topple in a storm. Many are slender white pines.

The neighborhood bordered by Cross Highway and Weston Road suffered severe damage — including extended power outages — during August’s Tropical Storm Isaias.

Eversource analyzes circuit by circuit performance, then targets the circuits or portions with the most tree-related outages. They then identify trees needing trimming or removal.

Trees account for up to 90% of all outages in Eversource’s system.

(Photo/Joyce Backman)

Tony La Russa is coming to the Westport Library

Well, not really. It’s a livestream, and it’s not likely the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer will be talking from the Westport Library studio.

But he’ll be joined by a good friend — longtime Westporter Steve Parrish — and the Library is sponsoring the event. So — even thought fans can join from anywhere in the world — it does count as “ours.”

The event is set for Tuesday, January 26 (7 p.m.). La Russa will chat about his World Series victories, tell classic baseball stories, and describe his role as new manager of the Chicago White Sox.

Click here to register for the free program.

Tony La Russa


And finally … the War of 1812 roared back in the news this week. That’s the last time — until Wednesday — that the US Capitol suffered a significant breach from opponents of democracy.

On this day in 1815, the last major engagement of that war ended. American forces defeated the British in the bloody Battle of New Orleans.

Andrew Jackson and a ragtag group of frontiersmen, slaves, Indians and pirates held off, then inflicted tremendous damage on a much larger and better trained British force intent on capturing the important port.

In just over 30 minutes, the Americans suffered 60 casualties — and killed 2,000 British.

Jackson became a national hero, and set out on a path to the presidency. However, the battle was for naught. The Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, had been signed 18 days earlier. Word had not yet reached the US from Europe.

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.