Tag Archives: the Inn at Longshore

Roundup: Fire Chief, Longshore Inn, Drugs …

Michael Kronick will retire as chief of the Westport Fire Department, effective May 15.

He’ll continue working though, with the state of Connecticut.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker says, “I appreciate that Chief Kronick has provided ample time with this announcement so that we may insure a smooth, seamless and professional transition at the Fire Department. 

“The town of Westport and its residents have been very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Mike’s expertise and dedication for many years. On behalf of the citizens of Westport, his fellow employees, and his firefighting colleagues, I am grateful for Mike’s longstanding and dedicated service to our community. I wish him much success in his future endeavors.”

Westport Fire Chief Michael Kronick.


What’s happening with the Inn at Longshore?

In this week’s “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker talks about the new lease modification with Longshore Hospitality LLC.  — and the long-needed updated.

Click below to listen, courtesy of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston:


In a quick and quiet meeting yesterday, the ad hoc committee reviewing a resident’s complaint about 3 books in the Staples High School library formally approved a recommendation to the Superintendent: Keep them on the shelves.

The vote yesterday reflected the 3 votes — all unanimous — that the board took earlier this month.

The committee thanked assistant superintendent of schools Anthony Buono for writing the report, and the community for their support of its work.

The next step: superintendent of schools will read the report, and make a recommendation to the Board of Education.


Sunday’s “06880” featured Dodie Pettit.

The longtime Westporter was an original “Phantom of the Opera” cast member. That night, she and a dozen others who inaugurated the show were to be honored at the final — and 13,981st — performance.

It was as spectacular an evening as the 35-year musical deserved. There were plenty of bows, by many of the people on stage, and behind the scenes, who made “Phantom” such a wonderful experience.

Here’s one video. Dodie strides proudly into the spotlight around the 1:35 mark, with Sarah Brightman, to well-deserved applause.


Work has begun Work has begun at West Parish and Hillandale Roads for the installation of a 4-way intersection.

The Department of Public Works is handling the much-needed, long-awaited job.

(Photo courtesy of Westport Department of Public Works)


Got drugs?

This Saturday (April 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Senior Center), the Westport Police Department partners with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, for the 24th annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Residents are asked to look in medicine cabinets and drawers for medications that are no longer needed, or out of date. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Take Back Day has removed more than 8,300 tons of medication from circulation since its inception.

Collection sites cannot accept illicit drugs, needles or sharps; only pills or patches.

Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container, with caps tightly sealed.

Vape pens with removable batteries can be disposed of at the take-back site. Vape pens without removable batteries are not accepted.

A year-round collection bin is available in the lobby of Westport police headquarters. Prescription drugs can be disposed of any time there. Click here for more information.


Staples High’s April Students of the Month are seniors Tyler Darden and Charlotte Gurley, juniors Jonathan Dionne and Cade McGrath, and sophomores Jonah Bernstein and Vivian Shamie.

They have been honored for helping make the school a welcoming place for their peers and teachers. Principal Stafford Thomas calls them “the ‘glue’ of the Staples community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep the high school together.”

Students of the Month (from left): Jonathan Dionne, Cade McGrath, Jonah Bernstein, Vivian Shamie, Charlotte Gurley, Tyler Darden.


More Staples news:

Seniors Jason Capozucca and Zoe Finger were honored recently at the 28th annual High School Arts Awards by the Connecticut Association of Schools, for their outstanding ability. Staff members selected Zoe for visual art, and Jason for music.

From left: art teacher Carla Eichler, Zoe Finger, Jason Capozucca, principal Stafford Thomas.


Here’s a great idea: a fundraiser where your checkbook stays home.

In fact, you go home with a check in your pocket.

Just look at home for gold.

It may be in the form of broken chains or bracelets, old school rings, watches, earrings, jewelry you never wear — even dental gold.

Bring all the gold you can find to William Raveis Real Estate (47 Riverside Avenue) this Thursday, Friday or Saturday (April 20-22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

“Bob the Gold Man” will buy it, and hand you a check.

Then, over 60% of whatever profits are made after the refining process will be donated in your name to the Damon Runyon Foundation and the Dana Farber Cancer Center.

Reservations are preferred (click here), but walk-ins are accepted. Appointments are every 30 minutes.

Questions? Email Beverly.Walsh@raveis.com.

If you’ve got gold ingots lying around, bring them in too.


Going down today: The small Cape at 330 Compo Road South.

It is — er, was — one of the few small houses on the right-side stretch of the road, between Bradley Street and Soundview Drive, as you head toward the water.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


Another house that bit the dust: the one on the first Roseville Road curve coming from the Post Road, just beyond “Little Toot” illustrator Hardie Gramatky’s former home (#60) on the right.

Like Hardie’s — which is still standing — it was a handsome house.

Today, all that remains is this:

(Photo/Molly Alger)


Something different is on tap, at this Thursday’s Jazz at the Post.

Musicians and music lovers will celebrate the music of one of the greatest jazz drummers and bandleaders ever: Art Blakey.

Known as “Buhaina” or “Bu,” he is the father of hard bop. He produced and developed more jazz talent than any other leader of his era. His Jazz Messengers band was the Ivy League of jazz finishing schools,

This week (April 20, 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner service at 7 p.m., VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399) — Part I of the tribute — features an all-star lineup playing classics from his Blue Note recordings of the 1960s.

Musicians include Jazz Messengers alum Steve Davis and Essiet Essiet (trombone and vocals/guitar, respectively), Bill Mobley (trumpet), Michael Cochrane (piano), Steve Johns (drums) and Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall (saxes).

Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.


On Sunday, Westport artist Ann Chernow joined printmaker James Reed for the opening of “Collaboration 2020 Encore” at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk.

The exhibit addresses the alchemy of printmaking as it relates to prints of Pablo Picasso. Chernow and Reed combined their knowledge and experience to produce a complex series of lithographs, replicating the famed artist’s imagery.

It runs through May 21. (Hat tip: Ann Chernow)

Print by Ann Chernow.


This was the view at Longshore on Sunday.

I wanted to be sure to post it quickly, as a “Westport … Naturally” feature. Every day during springtime here, the view and the colors change.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)


And finally … on this day in 1775, Paul Revere (and other riders) warned the Massachusetts countryside of British troop movements. The Battle of Lexington and Concord was about to begin.

(From gold to drugs, today’s Roundup keeps you on top of the Westport news. And we do it every day. Please click here to support “06880.” Thank you!)


Roundup: Bagels, Nasdaq, Charles Barkley …


It’s one thing for “06880” to announce that Popup Bagels won the Brooklyn Bagelfest contest.

It’s another for Nasdaq to trumpet the victory to the world.

But hat was the scene in Times Square this week:

“Several high-level executives at Nasdaq are @PopUpBagels fanatics and regular customers,” says founder Adam Goldberg.

“They felt it was important to acknowledge our victory.  i guess they see a future for us!”

They, and hundreds of thousands of visitors who now know that the best Brooklyn bagels are baked right here, in Westport.


Annual reports are usually ho-hum affairs. Whether they come from your favorite non-profit or a business you don’t even know is part of your portfolio, odds are you toss them without opening. What a waste, for all the work done by top executives on down to interns.

You will not throw away the Westport Library’s annual report.

For one thing, it’s digital. For another, it’s fantastic. Dense, filled with numbers, they

In 20 video testimonials, users speak passionately about what the library means to them. The children’s section, research, pleasure reading, events — it’s all there, all recorded in the facility’s own Verso Studios.

The Westport Library is the gift that keeps on giving. This unique annual report is one more reason you should give back even more. (Click here to see.)

Screen shot of the Westport Library’s annual report. Each thumbnail links to a different short video.


Westport has 2 new deputy chiefs.

Captains David Farrell and Ryan Paulsson were promoted this week, at a Town Hall ceremony. Chief Foti Koskinas praised their outstanding worth ethic, high character and strong commitment to the town.

Farrell served as a crisis negotiator with the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team, and is a former member of the department’s Honor Guard.  He was vice president of the Westport police union and Police Benevolent Association, and worked closely with Special Olympics organizing charity torch runs and fundraisers.

Farrell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut. He lives in Fairfield with his wife and 2 daughters.

Paulsson  — a Staples High School graduate — was hired as a patrol officer in 2000. Since rising to captain in 2017,  Paulsson has commanded the Professional Standards Division. He is currently in charge of the Operations Division, and the Westport Police/Fire Dive Rescue Team.

He is a former K-9 handler and team leader for the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team. He is a certified law enforcement instructor.

Paulsson holds a bachelor’s degree in justice and law administration from Western Connecticut State University, and is pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Sacred Heart University.  He lives in Milford with his wife and 2 daughters.


Since opening this summer, La Plage — the new Inn at Longshore restaurant — has become a go-to destination. The food equals the always stunning view.

La Plage is run by Greenwich Hospitality Group — operators of the wildly popular Delamar Hotels and and Artisan Restaurants. Now, they’ll take over catering at the Inn too.

The Inn’s culinary team is led by Frederic Kieffer, executive chef of La Plage. He also  oversees food service for Artisan restaurants in Southport, West Hartford and Traverse City, Michigan.

The Inn at Longshore


A longtime,, now retired, Westporter writes:

“I keep myself busy by walking around the Longshore golf course. In the course of my walks I pick up stray golf balls. I now have over 1,000.

“I want to give them away. Ideally, I would like to donate them to a youth group involved with golf. Local high schools are not interested. Can you come up with some clever ideas to help me direct this gift? Maybe an organization that can raffle them off?”

I’m not sure — but I’m sure our readers will tee up on this one. If you have any ideas of where our friend can donate over 1,000 golf balls, click “Comments” below. Fore!


Speaking of sports:

The National Basketball Association is 75 years old. The NBA Retired Players Association is 3o. Heartlent is one.

But the Westport-based  digitial, social strategy and creative content team has teamed up with those 2 organizations to refresh their visual identity. Heartlent created a new logo, and a series of custom animations based on untold stories from hoop legends. The first features Charles Barkley (below)

You can review stills from the first animation as well as the logo here. to check out those stills. Access the full video via NBRPA Twitter.

The animation has tons of easter eggs. How many can you find?


Jacque and Bill O’Brien were working in their yard this week. They sensed they were being watched. They looked up — and they were.

(Photo/Jacque O’Brien)

Besides posing for a “Westport … Naturally” photo, these deer were no doubt scoping out their next garden meal.


And finally … speaking of Sir Charles:



La Plage Brings Beach New Vibe (And Menu) To Longshore

Westport’s newest restaurant opens Wednesday, at one of the town’s oldest, most favorite sites.

La Plage takes over the space previously occupied by Pearl, and before that Splash. It’s the restaurant portion of the Inn at Longshore, a property that has never quite taken advantage of its unique location: a spectacular view of the water, nestled next to a golf course and tennis courts.

Killer water views at La Plage.

If last night’s preview is any indication, La Plage will quickly become one of the town’s go-to destinations.

“La Plage” means “the beach” in French. The menu is “coastal.”

Greenwich Hospitality Group — owner of the Delamar Hotels, and the new operator of the Inn — has redecorated  the interior, and updated its dishes, to take full advantage of its assets.

It’s a more-than-worthy addition to the Delamar’s other 2 noted restaurants, Artisan in Southport and L’Escale in Greenwich.

The bright dining room.

Shellfish selections include oysters, clams and shrimps, of course — and an octopus dish with chorizo, fingerling pepper and castelvetrano that will keep its Mediterranean sources hopping.

The “Baked/Grilled/Broiled” portion of the menu is highlighted by a grilled prosciutto pinsa with Bayley Hazen Blue cheese, figs, arugula and spicy honey; a lobster roll, and a variety of pasta, fish and meat dishes. Dessert includes a highly touted Ile flottante with vanilla English cream, caramel and almond, and more.

Much of the interior — light, bright, and beckoning “la plage” — comes from Serena & Lily. That’s just one more way Michael Ryan and his crew have taken Longshore’s venerable Inn, and given it a new Westport vibe.

The redecorated entrance. (Photos/Dan Woog)

La Plage will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, beginning this Wednesday. Click here for the menu, and reservations.


Roundup: Longshore Inn, Outdoor Dining, Ospreys …


The new operators of the Longshore Inn have big plans.

This afternoon (Wednesday, March 31, 5:30 p.m.), Charles Mallory — CEO of Greenwich Hospitality Group, which runs the very successful Delamar Hotels — joins Dave Briggs on Instagram Live to reveal what’s ahead.

Listen — and respond in real time — via @WestportMagazine. You can send questions on Instagram ahead of time too: @DaveBriggsTV.


The Westport Transit District recently replaced its previous fixed route system with Wheels2U Westport service, an on-demand, door-to-train station group shuttle service.

As part of the changeover, posters advertising the 50-year-old fixed route service at the Saugatuck train station were replaced with new ones highlighting the advantages of Wheels2U.

The Westport Transit District donated one of those now-historic fixed route posters to the Westport Museum for History & Culture yesterday. for its collection.

With Metro-North ridership beginning to pick up again, Wheels2U provides a convenient, reliable, and inexpensive way to get to and from the Westport and Greens Farms train stations. It serves a larger portion of Westport and meets more trains than the prior fixed route service.

Riders can order a ride using the Wheels2U phone app, be picked up at their door and then dropped off at the station platform at any time between 5:45 and 9:45  a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m. Reverse commuters can take the shuttle from the train station to their jobs almost anywhere in Westport for less than other alternatives.

Future plans for the WTD include getting more employees to their jobs, shoppers to stores, and seniors to the Senior Center.

For Wheels2U Westport’s service area, fares and other information, click here.  For information about Westport Transit’s door-to-door services for the elderly and people with a disability, click here.

Westport Transit District director Peter Gold presents Westport Museum of History & Culture collections director Nicole Carpenter with a now-historic Westport Transit District poster.


Yesterday, the State Senate unanimously approved legislation to extend outdoor dining in Connecticut through March 31, 2022.

Local zoning or planning officials still have the final power to permit or expand outdoor dining. The law minimizes paperwork like site surveys or traffic studies, in order to expedite the process.

Earlier this month, Westport’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to extend outdoor dining here until further notice.

Outdoor dining on Church Lane last year.


The ospreys are back — and not just at Fresh Market.

Chris Swan spotted one pair of the magnificent raptors at the nesting platform on Sherwood Mill Pond. He saw another on the saltmarsh at the end of Beachside Common, behind the Nature Center at Sherwood Island State Park. Welcome home to those two happy couples!

A Fresh Market — not Sherwood Island — osprey. (Photo.Carolyn Doan)


Patagonia is holding a food drive for Homes with Hope. Bring non-perishable goods like canned chicken, tuna, salmon and soup, mayonnaise, peanut butter and jelly, cereal and pasta source to the downtown store.

They also sell “Patagonia Provisions” — items that can be bought, then given away. (Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


Taylor Whiteside (Whitey) Bailey, a Wesport native and member of a prominent Westport family, died March 18 in Escondido, California of natural causes. He was 88 years old.

He was the 5th child of Franklin and Mary Alice Bailey. His mother was well known here as the assistant to Miss Irene Comer at her dancing school, held in the second floor ballroom of the Westport YMCA. His father was the stepson of Arthur Dare Whiteside, a founder and president of Dun & Bradstreet, and one of the early developers of the Sylvan Road and Nash’s Pond areas of Westport.

Bailey’s brother and sisters included Mary Bailey Beck, Ann Bailey Hall, Franklin Bailey, Jr. and Dare Bailey Wells, all deceased. Joan Whiteside was his step-sister.

Bailey attended Bedford Elementary School and Bedford Junior High School, and was a 1950 graduate of Staples High School. He was a competitive swimmer at Longshore Country Club and a lifeguard at Compo Beach.

He joined the U.S. Marines after high school, and served overseas from 1950-53 during the Korean War. While stationed with the Marines at Camp Pendleton, he was chosen to be the jeep driver in the movie “Retreat, Hell.”

Bailey and his first wife, Allison Norris Bailey, moved to California from Westport in the late 1950s. The former sales manager of Pace Arrow motor home company, he spent the last 25 years of his life in Fallbrook, California.

Allison Norris Bailey and Mr. Bailey’s second wife, Jan Bailey, are deceased.
He is survived by twin sons Kim W. Bailey and Timothy Norris Bailey, both of Westport; Will Mason Bailey of Maui, and 3 grandchildren.

Taylor Whiteside Bailey


Sure, you can have all the apps and video games you want. But there’s nothing like flying a good old-fashioned kite.

The good news: Tomorrow will be windy. The bad news: It may rain.

Amy Schneider spotted this colorful kite yesterday, at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)


And finally … happy 336th birthday, to Johann Sebastian Bach!

Friday Flashback #216

Last week, town officials reassigned the Inn at Longshore lease.

Rory Tagert — who operated the facility in the heart of the park for 35 years — is retiring. Longshore Hospitality LLC — which operates boutique hotels in many states, including Delamars in Southport, Greenwich and West Hartford — is the new operator.

Since the town bought the property and took over in 1960, it’s been the scene of countless banquets and other celebrations. Here it was during the ’60s:

Besides the ballroom and several hotel rooms, the Inn’s expansive lawn — sloping down toward Long Island Sound — is one of Fairfield County’s favorite wedding sites.

The front of the building has not changed much over the years. But here’s a view of the rear, from 1949:

(Photo courtesy of Don Willmott)

Batsh*t Bride Comes Home

First came “Groundhog Day.” Then “Independence Day.”

A new film takes place on April 1. It’s not called “April Fools Day” — the title is “Batsh*t Bride” — but the premise is clear.

Just before her wedding that day, a bride pranks her fiance by saying they should break up. Unfortunately, he feels the same way. Everything spirals out of control from there.

Jonathan Smith’s indie feature — starring Meghan Falcone as Heather — debuts August 26 at Stamford’s Avon Theatre. The venue is signifcant: “Batsh*t Bride” was filmed throughout Fairfield County.

Many scenes took place right here, including Christ & Holy Trinity Church and Longshore and Pearl restaurant. A number of Westporters had roles as extras.

The first scene the filmmakers shot was Heather’s failed wedding. Cinematographer Jason Merrin worked on it while in town for his own wedding.

A local blog posted the call for extras. Expecting only a handful of people, Smith planned his camera angles creatively. However, the Christ & Holy Trinity pews were packed.

Lights! Camera and action came later. (Photo/Ellen Bowen)

Many extras were then recruited for other background shots. One was even given a line.

The ballroom and hotel scenes were all shot at The Inn at Longshore. But the production was allowed in only on Monday through Wednesday, for 2 consecutive weeks.

Smith liked Longshore so much, he rewrote several sections to fit the grounds. He added in golf and kayak scenes.

Tickets to the premiere are $10. Chez Vous Bistro offers a $25 prix fixe 2-course dinner prior to the screening, while Flinders Lane Kitchen & Bar has happy hour drink prices and complimentary appetizers after the screening (with ticket stubs).

Email batshitbride@gmail.com for tickets and dinner reservations.

Batshit Bride

50 Weddings

Everyone connected with Longshore is getting into the 50th anniversary act.

The Rotary Club will honor Herb Baldwin — the former 1st selectman who played a key role in the town’s 1960 purchase of the former country club — at their annual golf/tennis outing in June.

Longshore Sailing School is sponsoring a reunion for 50 years’ worth of staff and students.

And let’s not forget the Inn.

On October 24 that building will host a “Westport Wedding Tour” — Westporter Andrea Rourke’s exhibition for brides-to-be (and any grooms who do not claim shotgun on football games).  She has organized many such events in the past — but this is the 1st in her hometown.

Over the years, Longshore has been the site of a bajillion weddings. Was yours one of them? (Photo courtesy of The Inn at Longshore)

As part of the decor — along with flowers and wedding cakes — Andrea hopes to show photos of couples who were married at the Inn.

A gallery of photos — many, presumably, taken on the broad lawn between the Inn and the Sound — will show how much Longshore has changed over 50 years.

And how timeless it is.

(Interested in contributing your Longshore wedding photo?  Want more information on the “Westport Wedding Tour”?  Call 800-272-3976, or click on www.weddingdayonline.com)

Happy Birthday, Dear Longshore

Westport has been awash in 50-year celebrations.  Mitchells, Staples soccer, Staples Players, Orphenians — all reached the half-century mark within the past year.

Next up:  Longshore.

The Inn at Longshore back in the day. Much has changed since this undated photo was taken -- and much has not.

Few Westporters realize that our town jewel camethisclose to being something else entirely.  In early 1960, the 169-acre property — the privately owned Longshore Beach and Country Club, with a golf course, tennis courts, pools, marina, inn/restaurant and play areas — came up for sale.

The typical Westport response — build houses! — was strongly considered.  But First Selectman Herb  Baldwin and his kitchen cabinet decided to make a bid, on behalf of the town.

They had to act quickly.  In just 18 days they put together a $1.9 million package — then earned approval from the Board of Finance and RTM.  The latter vote was 38-0.  (The RTM doesn’t even  name bridges or approve jUNe Day unanimously.)

A month and a half later — on May 28, 1960 — Longshore Club Park opened to the public.   It’s gone through plenty of changes — it took several owners to get the Inn right; the golf course and tennis courts have been revamped; a much-loved but rickety apartment building was torn down; a sailing school and rental shop now flourishes; some trees have been cut down, others planted; the swimming pool was renovated; a handsome entryway was built; an ice skating rink was added, and the way-cool (but decorative only) lighthouse is long gone — but everyone and everything else has changed in 50 years too.  (Except the Quonset hut behind the Boat Locker on the Post Road.)

Longshore is a photographer's delight, at all hours of the day and in every season of the year.

To mark the occasion, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff has appointed a 50th anniversary committee.  We (full disclosure:  I’m on it) will celebrate the milestone appropriately — through public ceremonies, exhibits, a website and publications.  We have started collecting materials, and despite the early stage we can tell it’s going to be a very cool project.  At the 1st meeting, we saw memorabilia ranging from towels from the old private country club, to 1920s aerial photos showing just a rough 3-hole golf course near the Inn.

Westporters will learn much about Longshore over the coming year.  It looks like the celebration will culminate with a grand event on May 28, 2011, honoring the end of the public park’s golden anniversary. 

Hall & Oates will not appear.  (If you don’t understand that reference, read the history of Longshore — whenever it comes out.)

“06880” will report back, from time to time, on Longshore’s 50th.  Meanwhile, the next time you drive past the park — or into it — look around.  Enjoy the spectacular view.

And think what this town would be like if — 50 years ago this winter — our civic leaders had decided that $1.9 million was just too much to pay for 169 acres of land.

(Got photos, home movies or other Longshore materials you’d like to share?  Email longshore50@gmail.com)

In the mid-1960s, the Westport Recreation Commission's youth soccer program played games at Longshore. The field -- now the site of the Inn parking lot, and several tennis courts -- sloped appreciably upward. This shot looks toward the golf course; the Inn would be on the left.