Tag Archives: the Inn at Longshore

Roundup: Longshore Inn, Outdoor Dining, Ospreys …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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)

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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

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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)

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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.