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Tag Archives: Inn at Longshore
The Inn at Longshore — a gorgeous, historic (and tired and underutilized) property — may soon get a new “lease on life.”
The Boards of Finance and Selectmen will consider an intriguing proposal foro the town-owned property.
Long-time tenant Longshore Associates of Westport — headed by Rory Tagert — seeks permission to assign their lease to a new group of experienced hotel and restaurant operators.
Tagert has been involved with the Inn for 35 years. He will retire soon.
Known officially as Longshore Hospitality LLC, the partnership is led by the Greenwich Hospitality Group.
Founded by Charles Mallory of Greenwich, they operate boutique hotels in many states, including the Delamar hotels in Greenwich, Southport and West Hartford, along with the L’Escale and Artisan restaurants in those locations.
Principal Michael Ryan is a Westport resident. Longshore Hospitality was represented by Westport attorney Jim Randel during negotiations.
The current Inn at Longshore lease has 8 years to run. It allows the tenant to assign the lease, with town approval. Those approvals are on the agendas of special online meetings of the Board of Finance (Thursday, October 22, 5 p.m.) and Selectmen (Friday, October 23, 12:30 p.m.).
1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:
I feel comfortable and gratified that the Inn at Longshore will be in the hands of experienced, local and reputable businesspeople who will represent the Town well in the years ahead.
The Longshore Hospitality LLC proposes to continue operating the Inn and the banquet facility as they have been under the proprietorship of Longshore Associates. Hotel and event staff are proposed to remain in place and all scheduled events will be unaffected. The Pearl at Longshore restaurant will continue to stay open.
Yesterday’s “06880” highlighted the role that Westport’s Rotary clubs play, helping bring democratic values to Ukraine.
The Westport Rotary and Sunrise Rotary are 2 of the more than 35,000 Rotaries worldwide. The couple of hundred members are part of a global organization of 1.6 million. Their projects are international — like Ukraine — but much of their work takes place right here at home.
Meetings include sharing of good news, guest speakers, and project plans. Recently, a member mentioned a wheelchair-bound World War II veteran whose home and yard needed major work. A dozen Rotarians spent 2 Saturdays getting it done. Their breaks were enriched by amazing stories of his D-Day landing at Normandy.
Many meetings include presentations by executives of non-profits. They share their organizations’ missions, accomplishments and needs. Club members are often inspired to help.
For example, Homes with Hope — which provides services and housing options to families and individuals seeking their way out of homelessness — is the recipient of monthly meal servings by Sunrise Rotary members. They also sponsor a July 4th barbecue, and food drive the day before the Super Bowl.
Rotary speakers have included the executive director of the Syria Fund, which provides education and assistance to refugees; the CEO of Norwalk’s Carver Foundation, who talked about the “opportunity gap” in education, and the headmaster of the Southport School, which educates students with dyslexia, and tied together the twin issues of incarceration and undiagnosed learning disabilities.
Of course, all of the Rotary Clubs’ charitable efforts cost money. Westporters are familiar with fundraisers like the Great Duck Race and LobsterFest.
Up next: Sunrise Rotary’s Uncorked Wine Tasting Gala.
The event — set for this Friday (November 22, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Inn at Longshore) features 100 wines, craft beers and non-alcoholic drinks, all curated by Cory D’Addario of The Wine Company Westport (the new name for the old Liquor Locker). A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, she is an expert at the synergy between wine and food.
On tap too: excellent hors d’oeuvres, authentic French breads, desserts and amazing chocolates. Full case beverages can be purchased for discounts.
Westport’s Rotary Clubs often operate under the radar. On Friday, you can get a great “taste” of their wonderful work.
(For tickets to the Uncorked Wine Tasting Gala, click here.)
It’s one of Westport’s greatest traditions: the Community Thanksgiving Day Feast.
For decades, it’s happened organically. Members of the sponsoring Saugatuck Congregational Church — and many others — sign up to bring food, or help elsewhere. Over 200 people show up, alone and with families. There’s music, fellowship and fun.
Sometimes there are tweaks. Sign-up Genius now makes it easier to assign tasks. When a fire rendered Saugatuck Church unusable, Christ & Holy Trinity stepped into the breach.
Last year brought a big change. Marc Weber and Anthony Miami took over the turkeys.
Plus the stuffing, gravy, potatoes, salads, vegetables, desserts — everything about the meal from, well, soup to nuts.
They were not simply volunteers. Weber owns OnTheMarc Catering. Miami is executive chef of the Inn at Longshore.
These guys are pros.
Five years ago Weber — a Culinary Institute of America graduate who began as a private chef, then grew his business to include clients like the Warehouse at FTC, Audubon Greenwich and Hudson Loft — partnered with the Longshore Inn.
He works all over Fairfield County, Westchester and New York City. But he lives in Westport.
And he wants to give back.
He’s on the board of an organization that helps local families find volunteer opportunities. At Longshore, he works with non-profits like Sunrise Rotary and Tiny Miracles.
His mother — a philanthropic adviser — emphasized the importance of “skills-based” volunteerism: contributing not just money, but talent and expertise.
Last year for the first time, Dan Levinson and Monique Bosch of Main Street Resources coordinated Westport’s Thanksgiving Feast. They asked Weber to help. He and Miami fed nearly 300 people, at very low cost.
“We know how to do it,” Weber says simply.
This year (Thursday, November 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), they’ll do it again.
Once again, they’re doing it gladly.
“I was so impressed by the number of families who volunteered,” Weber says of last year’s event. The first selectman helped serve. High school kids transported food from the Inn.”
That’s right: Now, the food is cooked off-site. It’s a big step up from the former potluck-type planning.
Of course, Weber and Miami can’t do it all alone. Westport Rotary, the Senior Center, Gillespie Center, Homes with Hope, the Unitarian Church, United Methodist Church, Bedford Middle School and Coleytown Elementary School all participate.
So do over 80 volunteers. They decorate, set up, greet, serve, clean up, even drive attendees who need transportation.
Monique and Dan hope for the usual donations of turkeys from Stew Leonard’s, pies from Temple Israel, bread from Sono Bakery and s’mores from Westport Boy Scouts. Other generous donations traditionally include floral arrangements from Westport Garden Club and greeting cards from Coleytown Middle School,
Somehow, it all comes together. It’s a true community feast.
But now the turkey and trimmings are prepared by true pros.
(To volunteer at Westport’s Community Thanksgiving Day Feast, click here. If you need a ride, call the Saugatuck Church: 203-227-1261. For more information, call Monique Bosch: 203-858-8829.)
I was at the Longshore pavilion tonight, for Mary Ann West’s low-key birthday party and book launch.
But as I wandered past the tennis courts, to take a photo of the stunning sunset, I stumbled on a wedding at the Inn.
Or, at least, the picture-taking part of it.
I have no idea who the happy couple is.
But they sure started their marriage on a beautiful night.
The Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee is fading away, in our rear view mirrors.
Up ahead: renovating Longshore.
The Parks and Recreation Commission — and plenty of Longshore users — have talked for a while about improving the 169-acre park. The crowded area around the 1st tee — with its ramshackle golf pro shop, landfill driving range, helter-skelter parking and dumpster near the Inn — is one area ripe for improvement.
Marina parking, and the maintenance shed sitting smack in the center of things, are other places worthy of examination.
Then there are usage questions. Do we need more paddle courts? Do the pool and skating rink work well? You get the idea.
The 2015-16 town budget includes money for a study of Longshore — something similar to what the town did with Compo, says Parks and Recreation Commission chair Charlie Haberstroh.
He hopes to organize a committee later this year. “It probably won’t be quite as comprehensive as Compo,” he says. “We’re not talking about building a clubhouse in the middle of the golf course. But we should start the planning process now.”
Several constituent groups are already gearing up to be heard. In an email to current and former members, the Longshore Men’s Golf Association board floated the idea of a small new clubhouse — with locker rooms, a pro shop, and an upstairs grill room — taking advantage of water views.
There will be plenty more discussion ahead. That’s a given — this is Westport.
Meanwhile, a more pressing Parks and Rec concern — as well as for many diners and drinkers — is the status of Longshore’s restaurant/bar.
Splash closed several months ago. Though Inn at Longshore lessee Rory Tagert’s lease requires him to run a restaurant, time is running out for this summer. The Inn is reported to be close to an agreement with a new sub-tenant. But permits — including liquor licenses — take time to obtain. A new operator would most likely want to make renovations too.
Bottom line: You may be bringing your own food and drinks to Longshore for a while.
And when you do, you’ll have time to chew over the Next Big Issue in town: Longshore 2.0.
Whenever we can, “06880” likes to provide public service. We also like to follow up on our stories, and tie up loose ends.
This post does all that.
Last month, a man who epitomizes the word “slimeball” posed as a wedding guest at the Inn at Longshore. He stole an ornamental bird cage used to collect congratulatory cash and checks.
He might have thought that was a bright idea. But he was not bright enough to realize there were video cameras in the lobby.
After “06880” — and many other media outlets — published photos of this lowlife, citizens responded. The Westport Police received “numerous” tips, identifying Frank Burnett of Mansfield, Connecticut as the suspect.
Our detectives did their job. They learned Burnett had attended a different Longshore wedding weeks earlier, and returned to commit the crime.
Burnett surrendered to Westport police yesterday. He was charged with larceny in the 4th degree, and posted $2,000 bond.
No word on whether the newlyweds have gotten their gifts back.
The Westport Police have released this photo of a suspect in a very scuzzy robbery Saturday:
On Saturday evening, a man took a birdcage containing an undetermined amount of wedding cards — with cash gifts — from a wedding reception at Longshore.
The man — who posed as a guest of the reception or hotel — loitered in the lobby, talking on the phone, before grabbing the birdcage and fleeing on foot from the Inn.
Police set up a perimeter and conducted a thorough search of the grounds, with the assistance of a Norwalk Police K-9. Only the empty birdcage was located.
The suspect is a white male 25 to 35 years of age, clean shaven, with light brown hair (close cropped). At the time of the incident he was dressed in grey slacks, a white or light gray shirt and white undershirt.
If you have information regarding the suspect, call Westport Police at 203-341-6000.