On Monday, Ignazio’s officially opens for business.
The new pizza place in the old Bertucci’s (and before that, the even older Tanglewoods and Clam Box) features both thin crust and Sicilian pizza, from a wood-fired oven.
Word of mouth already brought in customers. Louis Termini — who owned 7 Luna Pizzas in the Hartford area, and now runs the original (and very popular) Ignazio’s underneath the Brooklyn Bridge — handed out free slices all day today.
One man said, “I hope they’re as good as the hype.”
He wolfed it down. “It is!”
Some folks stopping by today were from Louis’ boyhood neighborhood. One went to high school with him.
“I gave them the Brooklyn treatment,” Louis says. “And they gave it right back to me.”
Owner Ed Freedman’s company started 6 years ago in Trumbull, as a small batch roaster. They supply stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, and restaurants including Jesup Hall, The Whelk and Kawa Ni.
Two years ago they opened in the Brick Walk. Freedman says that customers — many from Westport, attracted by the bright space, knowledgeable baristas and (of course) great coffee — urged him to open here.
As in Fairfield, the new Shearwater will feature drinks like espresso and cold brew, along with small plates and salads.
“It will be warm, inviting and friendly — a place for everyone from millennials to retirees to enjoy great coffee,” Freedman promises.
A rendering of the interior of Westport’s Shearwater, by architect Amber Freedman.
He is proud of his “top-notch” customer service. In Fairfield, he says, baristas “really welcome people. They engage them, and help them select the right drink.”
Freedman believes that many people “tolerate” Starbucks coffee. “They add all kinds of flavors and sugars. That’s not us.”
Floor to ceiling windows and high ceilings will help make Shearwater a “real destination.” Freedman’s daughter Amber — an architect in Boston — designed both his coffee bars.
The Westport spot will be a destination in part because of its location near the Sherwood Island Connector, Freedman says.
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