Tag Archives: Joey Romeo

Unsung Hero #10

Some of our Unsung Heroes are obscure. Some are little known.

Everyone knows this week’s hero. But he seldom gets the chops he deserves.

For 28 years, Joey Romeo has run the Compo Beach concession stand. He’s the longtime Longshore concessionaire too.

That’s a lot of years, and a lot of customers.

Make that, a lot of very happy customers.

Joey Romeo, in a typical pose.

From food to beach umbrellas to Westport t-shirts, Joey’s by the Shore has it all.

The grill/ice cream stand/souvenir shop is a friendly, happy place. It’s often packed, but it never feels unwelcome. Parents who normally hold their kids’ hands when they walk in their own back yard feel comfortable sending them alone to Joey’s.

They don’t even have to handle money. At Joey’s, you can run a tab.

Joey comes by his burger chops naturally. His father ran the food concessions at Cummings Beach and Cole Island in Stamford; his uncle spent many years as the concessionaire at Greenwich’s Tod’s Point.

Growing up, Joey worked at the beaches — and loved it.

He became the 1st tenant after the town of Westport renovated the old bathhouses, and moved the concession stand to its present location. So far, he’s the only one.

 

Joey Romeo, by the shore.

He loves the water. He loves what he does. And he loves his customers.

He listens to them, too.

Lobster rolls, fish and chips, Boar’s Head cold cuts — those and many more selections resulted directly from requests.

To serve those customers, Joey’s now opens early and closes late (9 p.m.) each summer. He fires up the grill in March, and is there on weekends through November — sometimes beyond.

Thanks, Joey, for being there for all of us. The beach — and Longshore — would not be the same without you!

(To nominate an unsung hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Joey’s Billy Needs Our Help

If you’ve ever been to Joey’s by the Shore in the summer — or winter, when he manages Joey’s at the Longshore ice rink — you know Billy Hess.

He’s worked there for 3 decades. Every July 4th he dresses up as Uncle Sam.

Billy Hess with his wife Gina and daughters.

Owner Joey Romeo says:

Billy has been the heart and soul of Joey’s for 30 years. Known for his selfless demeanor and permanent smile, he loves Westport and serving our customers.

In addition to an unparalleled work ethic, he’s the unofficial “Mr. Fix-It” of Compo and Longshore. Whether changing a flat tire, retrieving a kite from a tree or repairing a broken beach chair, he’s always there and eager to help — whether he knows you or not.  He’s the first to volunteer and the last to take credit.

Billy and his wife Gina have 3 daughters. He has countless friends: customers he has served with passion and dedication, and workers he has mentored with love and care.

A couple of months ago, Billy was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Since then, it’s spread. He’s endured surgeries and chemo with great strength.

There’s more treatment ahead. He also faces mounting medical bills.

Sara Colabella — who worked with Billy when she was in high school and college — has created a GoFundMe page. The goal is $50,000. Click here for the link.

He’s been humbled by the support and concern the community has shown.

But it’s the least we can do, after all Billy Hess has done for all of us.

Billy Hess and his family.

Happy Easter!

I can’t believe anyone had Easter dinner today.

Everyone was at the beach.

The best weather of the year drew enormous crowds of all ages to the playground:

Joey Romeo was everywhere — as usual — making sure his snack bar served everyone:

But the biggest attraction was a kitesurfer. For at least 2 hours, this guy whipped through the waves. He leaped 20 feet in the air. He circled far out, then zoomed close to land.

That dude has amazing upper body strength, great balance, and a sailor’s sense of the wind.

Thanks for the show!