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 firstname.lastname@example.org)