One of the most visible downtown properties will soon have a new look.
Restoration Hardware is closing in April.
Sources say the reason is not poor sales. Rather, the 11,000-square foot spot opposite Anthropologie, a few yards from Main Street, is not in keeping with the current large-format stores (“galleries,” in Restoration-speak) they’ve opened the last few years.
The home furnishings company — I have no idea where “Hardware” comes from — has been on the Post Road for about 20 years. It replaced the Fine Arts I and II movie theaters, which had been there since the early 1900s.
The closure leaves only one Restoration location in Connecticut: Greenwich.
The lines of the old Fine Arts Theater — including the recessed entryway — are still visible at Restoration Hardware.
(Interested in leasing the property? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 203-856-9674.)
To most of us, the alley next to Restoration Hardware is just a shortcut from the parking lots off Jesup Road, to the Post Road and Main Street.
But talented photographer and alert “06880” reader Betsy P. Kahn sees something more. She’s intrigued by the many angles and contours of this often-overlooked Westport nook.
(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)
Now there’s an added attraction. Rothbard Ale + Larder just opened up in the space formerly occupied by Tierra restaurant. They serve German food and drinks (plus cuisine from Alsace, Belgium and Switzerland).
Early reviews are good. Unfortunately, town regulations prohibit much signage. Let’s hope they make it to Oktoberfest.
Trust your instincts.
Westport Historical Society house historian Bob Weingarten thought that last week’s “mystery house” was the current site of Dream Spa — the handsome building at the entrance to the Crate & Barrel shopping center, between Green’s Farms Elementary School and Fortuna’s.
Then he thought it wasn’t. But research by the inestimable Wendy Crowther and others convinced him he was right all along. (Click here to see a 1930s photo of the house, and comments.)
This week’s house is a great one.
We know exactly where this very handsome home once stood. According to a state database of WPA photos, the house — built around 1823, and owned originally by “Wheeler or Capt. Gresham Bradley” — was “formerly situated on the present site of the Fine Arts Theater in State Street.”
That’s great. But the Fine Arts Theatre opened around 1920 — more than a decade before the photo was taken. It closed in 1999, and is now Restoration Hardware. And State Street has been renamed the Post Road.
So where was this house when the photo was taken?
Hopefully it has not been torn down in the interim.
If you know its whereabouts, click “Comments” below. The WHS is seeking info on this and other “mystery houses,” in preparation for an upcoming exhibit on the changing face of Westport.
Bonus photo: Here is what the Fine Arts Theatre looked like, a decade or 2 after it opened.
After weeks of work on the old Boccanfuso auto body shop on the Post Road opposite Starbucks, the new tenant was unveiled yesterday.
Should Crate & Barrel, or Restoration Hardware, be worried?
Over the past few weeks, pedestrians have been hit crossing the Post Road near Shake Shack and in front of Playhouse Square.
A body was discovered on the I-95 Exit 18 entrance ramp.
And every day, it seems, there are automobile accidents everywhere in town.
This morning around 10:30, a westbound driver on the Post Road near Patagonia suddenly veered across the street, slamming into a car parked in front of Restoration Hardware.
In the words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus: “Be careful out there.”