Tag Archives: Steam coffee bar

Roundup: Staples Soccer, Creigh Kelley, Trivia Night …

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The Staples girls soccer team is one game away from a state championship!

The Wreckers — undefeated in their last 14 matches, and reigning FCIAC champs — powered their way in the semifinals last night. Gaby Gonzalez’s 12th-minute header — and plenty of great defense — made all the difference, in a 1-0 win over Fairfield Warde. The victory avenged Staples’ regular season 3-0 loss to the Mustangs.

The Wreckers — ranked 9th — play their 3rd state final in the past 4 tournaments (COVID canceled last year’s event) on Saturday or Sunday, at Hartford’s Dillon Stadium. They face #10 Wilton — the team they beat 1-0 2 weeks ago for the league crown. The Warriors advanced with a penalty kick win over Fairfield Ludlowe, in an all-FCIAC state semifinal.

Congratulations to Coach Barry Beattie, his high-powered staff, and all the girls!

The girls are not Staples soccer’s only success story.

Tonight at 7 p.m. (Municipal Stadium, Waterbury), the boys play in the semifinals too. The #6 Wreckers meet #7 Farmington.

All tickets  must be purchased online. Click here for the link,

Can’t make it to Waterbury? Click here for the livestream,

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Speaking of sports: Last night, former Staples High School track star Creigh Kelley received the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award at the Road Race Management race directors’ meeting in Florida.

The 1964 Staples grad — a teammate of current Wrecker coach and local icon Laddie Lawrence — was cited for his long career as a runner, running store owner, race director, agent, official and the voice of thousands of races across the country.

Kelley also founded the Kiptur Primary School Foundation in Kenya, which has built classrooms, a library, kitchen and more.  (Hat tip: Peter Gambaccini)

Creigh Kelley

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Speaking of Staples: Tonight (Wednesday, November 17, 7 p.m., Staples cafeteria), he National Honor Society hosts a Trivia Night fundraiser. Teams of 2 to 5 people (any age!) compete for prizes. Tickets are just $5 at the door (cash or Venmo).

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Westport Country Playhouse’s family fun events are — well, family-filled, and fun.

The “Winter Fun Fest” is Saturday, December 4, From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the courtyard will be the site of a scavenger hunt, games, music, food, crafts, and photos with Santa.

The fundraiser was organized by the Playhouse Youth Council. Admission is just $5. Everyone bringing non-perishable food (for Homes with Hope) or new toys (for Toys with Tots) is eligible to win tickets for any Playhouse show next year.

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Yesterday’s Roundup included an incorrect date for the free coffee at Steam on Railroad Place. It’s available to anyone using the Westport Transit District’s Wheels2U app tomorrow and Friday (November 18 and 19), between 6 and 10 a.m.

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Gray’s Creek provided the setting for today’s “Westport … Naturally” image. The sunset was rich; the reeds, proud and strong.

(Photo/Tomoko Meth)

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And finally … on this day in 1858, the city of Denver was founded.

 

Roundup: Josh Koskoff, Free Coffee, WTF Tree, Millie Rae’s …

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Yesterday, a Connecticut Superior Court judge Barbara Bellis ruled in favor of 8 families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. They sued conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — who called the massacre a government-led hoax to confiscate firearms, and called the families “actors” — for defamation.

It was a victory for the families — one of whom has had to move 10 times since the shooting, due to harassment from Jones’ followers — and for Josh Koskoff. The Westport-based attorney represented the Sandy Hook families.

After the ruling, he was interviewed by several major media outlets. Click here, then scroll down for the transcript of his appearance on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

Josh Koskoff

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Steam Coffee Tea is new. The Westport Transit District’s Wheels2U service has been around awhile, but they recently added a few upgrades.

This Thursday and Friday (November 18 and 19), they team up to offer riders a freebie. Anyone using Wheels2U those mornings can show proof of their completed ride between 6 and 10 a.m., for a free coffee.

Wheels2U is the WTD’s on-demand group ride door-to -train platform shuttle service. Steam is the recently opened coffee shop on Railroad Place.

Westporters can use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup  between 5:45 and 9:45 a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m., to be taken to or from the Saugatuck or Greens Farms train platform and their front door. Pickups should be requested 20 minutes before normally leaving to drive to the station.  The fare is $2, paid via the Wheels2U app.  A Metro North Uniticket rail/bus pass can also be used.

For more information about Wheels2U, including how to download the Wheels2U app and book a ride, click here. For more information about the Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

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Everyone has their own idea of when the holiday season “really” starts.

If yours is the lighting of the Wakeman Town Farm tree, then get ready for Friday, December 3.

Musicians from Staples High, and Long Lots and Greens Farms Elementary School, will play Christmas and Hanukkah favorites at 4:30 p.m. The tree lighting is at 4:45 p.m.

Then comes marshmallows by the bonfire, treats from The Porch and Sweet P Bakery, and hot chocolate from The Granola Bar and Starbucks.

It’s festive and fun. It’s family friendly. And of course, it’s free.

Wakeman Town Farm tree lighting, in 2019. Last year’s event was canceled, due to COVID.

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Millie Rae’s is a favorite Westport shopping destination.

Here’s one more reason to love the Post Road East clothing store. Today (Tuesday, November 16), they’re donating 20% of all proceeds to A Better Chance of Westport. That’s the wonderful Westport program — and North Avenue home — that provides educational opportunities at Staples High School for students from underserved communities.

The event goes on all day. From 4 to 6 p.m., you can enjoy champagne and treats will you shop.

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The Greenwich Community Sailing program will not run at Tod’s Point next summer. The vendor — who also owns Longshore Sailing School — did not renew the lease. Construction in the area is forcing relocation.

Longshore Sailing School will operate as usual this summer. Greenwich Community Sailing gift cards will be eligible for use there. A program discount will be extended to Greenwich residents too. (Click here for the full story. Hat tip: Peter Gold)

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Westporter Denise Zack is a certified life coach, meditation instructor, yoga teacher and — as founder of Ripple Affect Life Coaching — a wellness-based consultant and educator for individuals and businesses.

Now she’s an author, too.

Zack just published “Ripple Affect: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life.” It offers 8 steps toward “reclaiming your happiness and living a balanced life.” Ripple effects begin within us, she says, and reach out to touch many others. (The books title is spelled with an “a” because an “affect” means touching one’s feelings, or moving emotionally.)

For more information, click here.

Denise Zack

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It’s November. Naturally, there’s frost in the morning.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows yesterday’s scene (in Weston, but still…). Button up!

(Photo/Regi Kendig)

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And finally … Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of the Moody Blues, died of complications from cancer on Thursday in Florida. He was 80 years old.

I was not a fan of the spoken word poems he wrote, which helped define the progressive rock era. But I know they were popular.

I’m more of a fan of their earlier and later works. Here are 3 of their biggest hits, from 3 different eras. (Click here for a full obituary.)

 

Vanishing Steam

Steam — the coffee vendor at the Westport railroad station — has brewed its last joe there.

The town of Westport made several attempts to help Steam stay open, says Foti Koskinas, deputy police chief who oversees railroad operations.

However, he says, the Saugatuck location is now vacant. The town is initiating eviction proceedings at Green’s Farms. Termination of the current lease will follow.

Steam's interior, at the Saugatuck station. (Photo/Lee Scharfstein)

Steam’s interior, at the Saugatuck station. (Photo/Lee Scharfstein)

The Green’s Farms building will stay open though, with coffee and baked goods. It’s a different situation than at the Westport station — where there are restrooms on the other (westbound) side, and several coffee shops.

The town will advertise soon for a new vendor.

The Steam sign -- shown here in 2014 -- is now gone.

The Steam sign — shown here soon after it opened in January 2014 — is now gone.

(Hat tip: Lee Scharfstein)

Steam May Evaporate

An urgent email from Steam — the organic coffee bar at the eastbound Westport train station — says they need $3,000 by Tuesday to stay in business.

So they’re throwing a fundraising party tomorrow (Sunday, June 28, 8 a.m. to 3 pm.) at their place.

They’ll offer food samples, coffee cupping (with local brewer Donny Raus), tea tasting, music and yoga.

A coffee bar is a tough business. The location — the “wrong” side of the tracks, in terms of when most people buy their joe — is not easy either.

But Steam has always been very community minded. This may be our chance to give a little something back, to a hard-working local business.

Steam sign

Steam Heats Up Saugatuck Station

When it comes to naming a new business, it doesn’t get better than “Steam.”

That’s the coffee shop that opened last Friday at the Saugatuck train station (eastbound side).

Steam conjures up images of frothing milk. Locomotives that chugged through decades ago.

And, says co-owner Briana Pennell, it’s got the word “tea” smack in the middle.

Steam co-owner Briana to pour a steaming hot coffee.

Steam co-owner Briana pours a steaming hot coffee.

The name came to her as soon as she saw the town’s Request For Proposal a few months ago. Westport officials needed someone to run the concession at one or both stations.

Briana — who worked at Great Cakes while a student at Weston High, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (concentrating on baking and pastries), and went on to top restaurants like Rebeccas in Greenwich — had wanted her own place for years.

She and her step-brother, Chris Barrett, won the bid. Working in restaurants paid his way through the University of Connecticut (business major). He moved on to the Melting Pot in Darien, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, and other noted spots.

“He’s great with people,” Briana says. At the Green’s Farms station — where Steam opened last July — “he remembers everyone’s name. It’s crazy from 5 a.m. to 9, but he’s on top of everything.”

The Green’s Farms Steam has earned a reputation for great coffee, and top customer service. If you’re running for the train — hey, pay us tomorrow!

Dkey Oster entertains commuters at Steam.

Dkey Oster entertains commuters at Steam.

Yesterday, Briana and her boyfriend — musician Dkey Oster — talked about their new venture. Briana loves the big kitchen, where she bakes sugar-free muffins, and other gluten-free and vegan “power foods.” She uses olive oil and grapeseed oil, and organic sugar.

She’s brought in local vendors like Doc’s Maple Syrup, Wave Hill Bread and Grassroots organic food.

She, Dkey and Chris are in the process of finding out what Westport commuters want. Sandwiches and soups are high on the list.

Right now, Steam is open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The hours might be extended — previous concessionaire Lili served dinners to go, a great idea. Briana also heard about Lili’s croissants, so she did a blind tasting to figure out which ones to serve. Wave Hill won, hands down.

The town — led by deputy police chief and head of railroad operations Foti Koskinas, and chief Dale Call — deserve a huge hand for their loving restoration of the 1890 building. Restorer Bill Dohme used as much original wood as possible. There’s a 19th century-style wood floor, while Chris himself restored the tables.

A handsome plaque fits perfectly with the restored interior. The plaque includes a reference to the "NYNH&HRR" -- the old New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

A handsome plaque fits perfectly with the restored interior. The 2nd line refers to the “NYNH&HRR” — the old New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

But this is the 21st century. Thanks to Steve Smith and Leo Cirnio, the entire building is solar-powered — from the coffee pots to the cell phone chargers — and parking spots outside are reserved for electric vehicles.  (Parking is an issue — welcome to Westport. Three spots are reserved for Steam customers, and parallel parking lines may be painted soon in front.)

Oh, yeah. A flat-screen TV shows the Green’s Farms station, so customers can know when a train is coming. And the Wi-Fi is free.

Briana, Chris and Dkey want to make the space available after hours, for art exhibits, music shows, whatever. The Electric Car Club has already held a meeting there.

Briana is excited about every part of Steam — even the grotty tunnel to the westbound platform. It’s going to be redone, she says, and the Westport Arts Center plans a cool exhibit of Westport now-and-then photos.

She says, proudly, that “since the day we opened, people keep coming in wishing us luck.”

In fact, Westport is lucky to have Briana, Chris, Dkey — and the superbly named Steam — now in 2 great locations.

Steam sign