Tag Archives: Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters

New Pizza Place Rising In Old Bertucci’s

If you’ve been waiting for Ignazio’s — the new pizza place in the old Bertucci’s — to open…

… you’ll have to wait a little longer.

The build-out is taking a while. Owner Louis Termini hopes for September.

Meanwhile, here’s the antipasto.

Termini — a Brooklyn native — says he opened the first oven-fired oven in the Hartford area, in 1990. Luna Pizza soon expanded to 7 locations in Hartford County.

He returned to his native borough when he found a great location underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

There was one problem: It was around the corner from the legendary Grimaldi’s.

No problem! Ignazio’s — named after his father — has been a huge hit.

So Termini is not fazed by coming into a town that has more than its share of excellent Italian restaurants.

It’s a town he knows well. On drives between Brooklyn and Hartford, he stopped here often for lunch.

“I enjoy eating out,” he says. “I think I tried every place in Westport.”

Termini grew up on the water. In February he rented a house on Saugatuck Shores. He loved sitting in his grandmother’s rocking chair on the heated porch.

This summer, he’s enjoying it even more.

A realtor friend from the Bronx helped find the Bertucci’s site. “He’s Jewish, I’m Italian,” Termini says. “But we have the same childhood memories.”

There’s another New York connection: the Westport landlord knows the Brooklyn restaurant well. His sister lives around the corner from it.

Termini learned pizza-making from his mother and grandmother. He tweaked their recipes, so his pies are “a little different” than the standard neighborhood pizzerias of his youth.

He is proud of his fresh mozzarella. And he uses the same olive oils, cheeses, plum tomatoes and sauces he grew up with.

The doors are open. But Ignazio’s is still a few weeks away from welcoming customers.

Yet Termini is more than just a pizzeria owner. He’s also an artist. He got into the restaurant business after his first child was born — because, he says, of the type of artist he was: “starving.”

So he’s pleased to share Ignazio’s space with One River Art + Design. Shearwater — the popular Fairfield coffee bar, where Termini gets his java — will be there too.

Termini will offer both thin crust and Sicilian pizza from his wood-fired oven. Of course he’ll serve other dishes, like calzones — “and a few surprises we don’t have in Brooklyn.”

He’s discovered Connecticut Farm Fresh Express, which delivers produce. He’s looking for a good Connecticut beer to serve too.

Termini definitely knows the territory. The other day, he had dinner at the new Meatball Shop. He enjoyed it.

Of course, he notes, “there’s room for more than one meatball in town.”

New Coffee Spot Brewing At Old Bertucci’s

Westport is blessed with many things.

We have art and artists. We have pizzerias and coffee shops up the wazoo.

But we don’t have a “coffee bar” — a place that serves ultra-premium, USDA organic-certified roasts.

That changes soon.

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters — currently killing it in Fairfield — will open its 2nd location. The site is the long-empty Bertucci’s building, on Post Road East by Long Lots Road.

Shearwater will share the space with (of course) One River School of Art + Design, and Ignazio’s Pizza.

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.

He hopes to open in July. Ignazio’s hopes to open next month. River One’s grand opening is June 15-16.

There is still space for one tenant in the building.

Maybe a bank or nail spa?