Tag Archives: Mumbai Times

Roundup: Original Pancake House, Pottery Barn, Westport Hardware …

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It’s been years since IHOP left Westport (though the bones of the building, a now-closed nail salon, can still be seen opposite Fire Department headquarters on the Post Road).

But a new pancake place is headed to town.

WestportMoms reports this morning that The Original Pancake House will open this summer on Main Street. They’ll take over the 2nd floor space formerly occupied by Boca restaurant (and before that, Acqua).

The original Original Pancake House — TOPH, to its fans — opened in 1953 in Portland, Oregon. There are now over 100 locations in 28 states and overseas.

But none are in Connecticut. The closest right now is White Plains.

Among the signature dishes: apple pancakes, Dutch Baby, German pancakes and omelets.

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Speaking of Main Street: Get set for some reshuffling of Westport retail space.

Westport Hardware will move a few yards west. The popular store opposite Fresh Market — the only one of its kind left in town — will take over the space formerly occupied by Sam Sloat Coins, Luxe Nail Spa, and part of Lester’s and now-closed Wish List. The nail salon will be relocating.

The new space — about the same size as the current store — will be bright, with open ceilings, a Westport Hardware spokesperson said.

So what’s replacing Westport Hardware?

Pottery Barn. They’ll move from Main Street. Pottery Barn will also take over the now-closed Mumbai Times restaurant and Vincent Palumbo Salon, on both sides of the hardware store. That’s around 15,000 square feet.

Target date for the move is late August.

In August Westport Hardware moves west; Pottery Barn moves in.

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There’s a lot on the Board of Finance’s plate at its March 2 meeting (7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium).

Among the agenda items:

  • Presentation of the 2022-23 town budget, by 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker.
  • Presentation of the 2022-23 education budget, by Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice.
  • A request for $1.431 million to extend sewers to Whitney Street, Roseville Road, Fernwood Road, Plumtree Lane, Pamela Place and Ledgemoor Lane.
  • A request for $3.1 million to extend sewers to Evergreen Avenue and Parkway, Tamarac Road, Lone Pine Lane, Gorham Avenue, Compo Road North and Brookside Drive.

The meeting will also be livestreamed on the town website, and shown on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020. Click here for the full agenda.

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Congratulations to the Staples High School girls ice hockey team (a co-op squad, with Stamford and Westhill Highs).

A 3-0 win over Darien vaults them into their first-ever FCIAC final. Kate Tortorella scored twice, Annie Forker once, adn goalie Sydney Butler earned the shutout.

They play New Canaan on Saturday. Good luck! (Hat tip: The Ruden Report)

The Staples/Stamford/Westhiill girls ice hockey coop team.

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Michael Chait’s photography has been featured on “06880.” He’s got a large following on social media too. Michael’s followers love his unique images of Westport, New York City and other locations.

But it’s one thing to see his work on a computer or phone screen. They’re even more impressive live, and in person.

You’ll get that chance on Saturday, March 5 (4 to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, march 6 (1 to 4 p.m.). There’s a special show at the Loft Studio/Office, 11 Riverside Avenue, 2nd floor.

That’s on the corner of Post Road West — one more favored spot for Michael’s photos.

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Charlie Capalbo — the 23-year-old standout Fairfield hockey goalie, and grandson of Westport writer Ina Chadwick — has beaten cancer 3 times: lymphoma once, leukemia twice. Countless friends and strangers have rallied to his remarkable cause.

Astonishingly, he’s just been diagnosed with leukemia a third time. His fourth cancer battle in 5 years will include very expensive experimental treatments and immunotherapies — on top of the immense cost of previous treatments.

To donate to Charlie’s Go Fund Me page, click here. You can also email words of encouragement to charlie@optimalservices.com; leave a voicemail at 203-293-8464 (his phone won’t ring), and join the Friends of Charlie Capalbo Facebook page.

Charlie Capalbo (Photo/Dave Gunn)

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Today’s New York Times has an interesting story on a Republican US Senate candidate in Pennsylvania. Michael David McCormick is trying to thread the needle between being seen as a Trump ally, and one not too extreme in the state President Biden won by 1.2 percentage points. One consultant advised running in the “Trump-adjacent lane.”

The story notes that McCormick — a West Point graduate, army Ranger, Ph.D. graduate of Princeton and Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration — was most recently CEO of Bridgewater Associates.

The Times calls notes that the hedge fund’s “fieldstone-and-glass headquarters … on a wooded, 22-acre campus in Westport, Conn (are) a world away from Pennsylvania cities like Scranton, McKeesport and Aliquippa, which have been hit hard by the kinds of shifts in global trade that Bridgewater’s traders and analysts seek to monetize each day.”

It adds: “A former Democrat, McCormick has made voluminous comments on world affairs, and they aren’t always very MAGA.”

Click here for the full story, including McCormick’s views on China — a country the Times says holds particular fascination for Bridgewater.

Bridgewater’s “fieldstone-and-glass” headquarters, off Weston Road.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a beautiful sunset at Longshore. They just keep coming…

(Photo/Elisabeth Levey)

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And finally … a little tune to celebrate National Sauna Week:

 

 

 

Billy Shot Me — And Your Business?

There it is. After googling a business, you find — along with links and directions — a tab inviting you to “See Inside.” One click brings up handsome, wide-angle exterior and interior views of the store or office that you can pan, rotate and zoom in on — just like Google Earth.

You might think — if you think about it at all — that the owner did a nice job hiring a good photographer who can stitch photos into 360-degree views, then had his webmaster post them nicely.

You’d be wrong. As with all things Google, a very regimented, standardized tool runs the program they very boringly call “Google Business Photos.”

A screenshot of part of The Spotted Horse's virtual tour. Clicking on one of the circular arrows on the bottom images brings up the panoramic view.

A screenshot of part of The Spotted Horse’s virtual tour. Clicking a circular arrow on the bottom images brings up the panoramic view. (Click or hover over to enlarge.)

To get those images posted with a “See Inside” link — available through generic search, Business Pages and clicking on a Google Maps icon — a business owner must use a Google photographer.

The photographer’s training process takes 6 months. The certification process is very rigorous. Mistakes made at the pixel level must be fixed.

Just half a dozen Connecticut photographers have gone through the long process. Westport’s Billy Scalzi is one of them.

A 40-year area resident, he was an institutional bond broker who owned 2 companies. He left Wall Street in 1996, to become a real estate speculator. Photography is Scalzi’s 3rd career.

Billy Shot MeHis company is called Billy Shot Me. Using a DSLR camera — and the same technology as Google Street View — he takes Google Business Photos all over the state. Locally, he’s shot The Spotted Horse, Mumbai Times, Picture This and Volvo of Westport. (He’s also done all the rest stops on I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. The owner is very proud that they’ve all been renovated.)

Outside of Westport, Scalzi has shot doctors’ and dentists’ offices — even a psychiatrist’s. (“He wanted that little balloon man in Google Maps,” Scalzi says.)

Scalzi’s fee begins at $350. But that’s the only charge. Google offers its service for free. And because business owners can embed the photos on their own website and in social media, they’re available to users who find them even through search engines like Bing or Yahoo.

On his own — and gratis — Scalzi is shooting and creating virtual tours of Compo Beach, Longshore and Grace Salmon Park. He wants those to be available to anyone who clicks their links on Google Maps.

Taking a virtual tour before you go — to a restaurant, car dealer or psychiatrist’s office — appeals to some people.

To some business owners too — though not all. “It’s simple marketing,” Scalzi says. “I’m amazed that half of all businesses in the U.S. don’t even have websites.”

Billy Scalzi's 360-degree view of Picture This gives potential customers a great idea of what they'll find.

Billy Scalzi’s 360-degree view of Picture This gives potential customers a great idea of what they’ll find.