Tag Archives: Kevin McHugh

Little Barn Rises In Westport

First it was Dairy Queen — a once-cool high school hangout that faded over time.

Then it was Woody’s, a diner that never caught on. And Swanky Frank’s — not to be confused with its Norwalk “cousin.” And never as popular.

Since Swanky closed in June, Westporters have watched its transformation. And wondered what comes next.

The answer: The Little Barn.

Co-owners Scott  Beck and Kevin McHugh — native Westporters — are a month away from opening. Their goal is to be ready before the holidays start.

The Little Barn nears completion.

The Little Barn nears completion.

“Since Kevin sold his shares in The Little Pub in Ridgefield,” we’ve been looking for a great spot to put in a new pub concept,” Scott says.

When they heard Swanky Frank’s was available, they moved quickly.

“We loved the idea of redoing such an iconic building in Westport — particularly because we both grew up here, and spent so much time at DQ,” Scott says.

The cozy fireplace.

The cozy fireplace.

The project has been fun. They sourced materials for an “authentic look” from across the country. Now, they’re concentrating on the finishes.

The fireplaces are already in use.

The menu and ambiance is “casual and fun,” says Scott — “just like the concept: a pub in a barn.” The food will be classic pub and comfort food. That means burgers, fish and chips, steak frites, plus healthy options (“lots of salads”), tacos and wraps.

There’s a kids’ menu too.

Between them, Kevin and Scott co-own 4 other restaurants in Fairfield County: Match in SoNo, Grey Goose and The Chelsea in Fairfield, and the Spotted Horse in Westport.

Little Barn logoThe Horse sparked the recent — and continuing — Church Lane resurrection.

I’m not sure there will be new life along The Little Barn’s stretch of Post Road, between Arby’s and Fortuna’s. But Kevin and Scott have the magic touch.

I know the joint will be jumpin’.

(For the latest news on the opening date, check out The Little Barn’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/littlebarnct)

Spotted Horse Gallops Into Town

Downtown Westport rocked tonight like it hasn’t in years.

It wasn't easy getting in the Spotted Horse door last night.

An opening-night party for the Spotted Horse — the new restaurant in the 210-year-old Sherwood House on Church Lane — drew a wall-to-wall, out-the-door crowd.

If they come back when the Champagne and food isn’t free — which they undoubtedly will — that crowd will transform downtown.

The Spotted Horse fills a gaping hole there: a restaurant with a great but casual menu; an enormous and inviting bar; a killer sound system; warm decor — plus outdoor seating.

Until I walked in — and was embraced by the welcoming ambience — I didn’t realize exactly what’s been missing downtown for years.

Spotted Horse owner Tommy Febbraio, and the opening-night crowd.

Owners Kevin McHugh and Tommy Febbraio are Staples grads. They’re experienced restaurateurs — but this is their 1st Westport venture. They know they have to do it right. And they will.

The Spotted Horse will draw folks downtown again, breathing life into a district that was gasping for it. Other downtown restaurants — Bobby Q’s, Tavern on Main, etc. — need not worry.

As they say at the nearby Saugatuck River: A rising tide lifts all boats.