Tag Archives: Joey’s by the Shore

One More Place To Party At The Beach

You can’t reserve tables in the Compo Beach pavilion.

But — starting immediately — you can reserve that cool little space (formerly storage) recently carved out between the brick pavilion and Joey’s.

In a low-key announcement, Parks and Rec says they’re “excited to offer a new PARTY RENTAL space.”

(Note: they never say exactly where it is — beyond “on east beach and conveniently located next to Joey’s by the Shore.” I’m assuming it’s here:

Staples High School sophomores in the party space next to Joey’s last night. They did not have to rent it.

The email continues:

This picnic area holds a maximum of 60 people, and can be rented out from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. until sunset, or even all day to meet your party needs! This is a great location for your children’s parties or family gatherings! Joey’s will be happy to assist in your catering needs!

There are a few rules:

You must apply no later than 72 hours before the event. Applications are first-come, first-served. The permit fee is $50 (plus a refundable $100 security/clean-up deposit).

Guests without parking stickers must pay the regular daily fees. Businesses and non-profits can rent the space Mondays through Thursdays, and are allowed up to 15 parking waivers.

No alcohol, glass, candles or tiki torches. No amplified music either.

Oh, yeah: “Food and catering trucks are not allowed. Catered food must be purchased from Joey’s by the  Shore.”

Joey Romeo can handle all your catering needs.

Does that mean you can’t bring any food in? Picnics? Pizza from Romanacci? What exactly is “catered” food?

It shouldn’t matter. Joey’s is great, easy to work with, and can provide whatever you need.

This is the second specially defined party space at Compo. For years, anyone could rent the clubhouse at Ned Dimes Marina for $275 (though most Westporters don’t know that).

So enjoy your next party at the new space “conveniently located next to Joey’s.”

And if you’ve got a better name for the spot, click “Comments” below.

(Hat tip: Johanna Rossi)

Remembering Billy Hess

Billy Hess — the popular and longtime Joey’s by the Shore employee, who ran the Longshore concession stand — died yesterday. Last year, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Last year, Joey’s owner Joey Romeo told “06880”:

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 is survived by his wife Gina, and 3 daughters.

He also leaves behind countless friends: customers he served with passion and dedication, and workers he mentored with love and care.

Billy Hess with his wife Gina and daughters.

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A sure sign of spring: Joey’s is open! (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Townee Tees Help Billy Hess

A few months ago, “06880” reported that Billy Hess — the longtime and very popular summertime fixture at Joey’s by the Shore, and winter manager of Joey’s at the Longshore ice rink — was seriously ill with lung cancer.

Billy’s many friends and fans rallied to help. He’s still battling — and Westporters can still help.

Townee — the local t-shirt, tank top, hoodie and fleece company — has designed a special edition shirt. Proceeds help pay Billy’s medical expenses.

It’s extra-special, because it features the same logo Billy designed, and etched in the Joey’s counter years ago. If you’ve ever bought burgers, fries or lobster rolls at the beach — and who hasn’t? — you’ve seen it there.

The unisex crew-neck gray tee sells for $30. How appropriate — Billy has worked at Joey’s for 30 years.

As for the colors: Billy was part of the design process. He requested red and blue, to show his patriotism.

Remember, every summer he dresses up as Uncle Sam.

(To order a Billy Hess t-shirt, click here. To contribute to his GoFundMe page, click here.)

Billy Hess with his wife Gina and daughters.

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A classic Joey’s by the Shore scene (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

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)

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2 girls at Joey’s by the Shore (Photo copyright Lynn U. Miller)

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.

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Joey’s by the Shore, at night. (Photo copyright Lynn U. Miller)

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National Hall (Photo copyright Lynn U. Miller)