In the heart of Saugatuck, it’s hard to miss: Every day, the former Mansion Clam House moves closer to its new incarnation as Parker Steak House.
The substantial portion of townsfolk who don’t like restaurant changes wonder what’s ahead. Owner Chris Costa — a longtime Westporter who bought the property from his uncle’s estate — sends this reassuring message to all:
I’m glad that my family contributed to Westport’s individual character for many years with the Mansion. It’s my intent that the building and grounds retain some of the salty dog touches that I too enjoy.
I intend to replace the fisherman on the roof. We are searching for a new mannequin now, and some foul weather gear. The old one was beyond repair for safe installation.
The quirky Mansion Clam House fisherman will be back — in some form — at the Parker Steak House.
We will do parking lot and dock work too, once the structure is complete.
My passion for the individual character and spirit that has endeared Westport to me is alive and well. I too sometimes lament the homogenization of the beige stone and shingle world the town seems to have become.
We need individuality and diversification. The cookie-cutter thing doesn’t work for me.
I need to respect and balance the tenant’s design and wishes, and collaborate with things that can work to add all the character people fondly remember.
Work proceeded last month on the former Mansion Clam House. (Photo/Bob Mitchell)
Not the least of that will be some very good food. To be clear: It will not solely be a steak house! While that is a focus, seafood of course will be well represented.
The operator is a great guy, very open to listening to customers to get them great food at fair prices and a welcoming atmosphere. He’s in this for the long haul.
I am too. This is not a trendy one-hit-and-done, in-and-out.
Time will tell. At the end of the day, the people are the voters.
We set the stage. They come. Everyone learns. Evolutions occur. And a good balance is achieved!
(Hey, “06880” readers! If you know where Chris Costa can find a good fisherman mannequin, click “Comments” below.)