Sure, “06880” salutes Westport’s Unsung Heroes every Wednesday. But this story is so important, it can’t wait.
Like many Westporters, Lori Kosut was stricken but inspired by the story of Victoria Gouletas — the Zoning Board of Appeals member paralyzed during last week’s nor’easter, when she was struck by a large falling tree limb. (Click here for yesterday’s story, and link to GoFundMe.)
Every day since the tragedy, whenever Victoria’s husband Troy Burk returns from the hospital or their 3 kids come home from school, they see the branch. It’s a vivid and brutal reminder of how, in an instant, their family’s lives were changed.
This morning, Lori called Bert Porzio. The native Westporter owns Bert’s Tree Service. She asked if he could remove the branch that struck Victoria.
Of course, he said.
Bert Porzio, at work.
He headed right over to the Sturges Highway home.
And then he did a lot more.
Bert cleared every limb and broken tree that littered the yard.
But when Lori asked for a bill, he refused. Bert said, “It’s on me.”
Victoria and her family have a long road ahead. Fortunately, they’ll travel it with fellow Westporters like Bert Porzio.
With all the hubbub over the closing of Mario’s, owner-for-at-least-a-little-while-longer Lori Kosut wants her thousands of loyal customers to know: The popular Saugatuck restaurant is definitely still open for business. Not one item on the menu has changed.
When there is a solid date of transfer, “06880” will have all the details.
Except for Easter. They’re closed this Sunday.
The sun is setting on Mario’s. (Photo/Billy Scalzi)
The rumors careening around town are true: Mario’s is being sold.
The legendary restaurant/bar — a Saugatuck mainstay since 1967 — will change hands soon. A new name, cuisine and interior will follow. The deal could be finalized tomorrow morning.
New owners Kleber, Nube and Vicente Siguenza own 5 restaurants in Fairfield and New Haven Counties (including 55 Degrees in Fairfield).
Mario’s: A Westport legend.
Mario’s will remain as it is for the next year. It will then transform into Harvest Wine Bar — similar to the Siguenzas’ restaurant of the same name in Greenwich. Harvest offers modern American custom cuisine with Asian, Latin and Mediterranean influences, plus an extensive wine list. Harvest supports local, organic farms.
Mario’s — the official name was Mario’s Place, but no one called it that — was opened by Frank “Tiger” DeMace and Mario Sacco. Its across-from-the-train-station location was perfect for commuters looking for a drink and dinner. Wives picking up their husbands stopped in too.
Mario’s quickly became a beloved family restaurant. Its menu — featuring enormous steaks, popular Italian dishes and large salads — seldom changed. Neither did the comfortable, homey decor. That was part of its charm.
For nearly 50 years Mario’s has been Westport’s go-to place to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and promotions — or commiserate over job losses and divorces.
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