Tag Archives: Upsilon Entertainment Group

New Beach Concessionaire Moves Forward

No one knows when — or even if 🙁 — Compo Beach will open this year.

But a key piece of summer fun edged closer to reality last night. The Planning & Zoning Commission — acting in its capacity to consider land use issues — voted unanimously in favor of a new concessionaire.

Upsilon Entertainment Group — the applicant chosen by the Parks & Recreation Department — would run the Compo food service that for over 30 years was operated by Joey Romeo. The Larchmont, New York-based company would also take over Romeo’s 2 other concessions: the Longshore golf course halfway house, and the concession by the pool.

Parks & Rec director Jen Fava describd the formal bid process. There were 36 downloads of the RFP. Eight businesses made site visits. Five submitted proposals. In addition to Upsilon’s, they came from Norwalk, Stratford, Woodbridge and Ryebrook, New York.

Fees to be paid to the town ranged from a low of $55,000 a year to a high of $100,000 or 10% of the gross revenue the first year, whichever is higher. The latter bid came from Upsilon.

The new concessionaire will take over from Joey Romeo. For over 30 years, he ran Joey’s by the Shore. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Fava said that 3 groups were interviewed by a committee of representatives from the RTM, Parks & Rec Department, Parks & Rec Commission, and Department of Public Works.

They selected Upsilon for a variety of reasons. One was those highest fees (which top out at $120,000 a year or 12% of gross revenues, whichever is higher, in the final year of the 5-year contract). An opt-in clause covers 2 additional 5-year terms.

Fava said the committee was enthusiastic about Upsilon’s previous experience, which included operations at New York’s Bryant Park, Prospect Park and Hudson River Park.

The menu would include “typical beach food,” plus “healthier options like smoothies and salads.” They would offer special food nights, like Italian cuisine, and events like cheese tastings.

The company will use biodegradable packaging, and will compost materials. They committed to hire local staffs, and sell Connecticut-based products.

“They’re very professional,” the Parks & Rec director said. “They want to be partners with us, and involved in the community.”

Joey Romeo owned much of the interior equipment. The new concessionaire will have to bring in its own. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Fava said that while many terms in the original contract were similar to those in the past, the coronavirus pandemic necessitated a rider. It covers uncertainty over starting dates for the beach, and addresses issues like partial openings.

The P&Z vote marked the first step toward town approval for Upsilon. Still ahead: the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen.

COVID-19 Roundup: Bells, Food, Funds, Laptops, More

Every day seems to blend into every other. Today could be any day.

But it’s Wednesday! Which means it’s time for our community bell ring.

From 5 p.m. to 5:02, Westporters are encouraged o step outside — or open windows — and make noise.

Sound a bell. Play an instrument. Bang a pot. It doesn’t matter! Just ring out your gratitude to our medical personnel, essential workers, and anyone else who keeps our town safe.

They appreciate it. It’s a ton of fun. Everyone loves it.

Plus, what else have you got going at 5 p.m. today?


When it was announced just a week ago, the Westport Food Fund had an audacious goal: $50,000, to help ease food insecurity for the 4% of Westporters — 1,200 residents — who fear they’ll go hungry in the pandemic.

Within 12 hours, that lofty taragete was reached.

Yet folks kept giving. The campaign closes today. In just 1 week, we raised $110,000.

Organizers Dan Levinson, Elaine Daignault and Sue Pfister are overwhelmed with gratitude.

Of course, there is great need for the foreseeable future. Daignault — the town’s director of human services — says her department will continue to accept donations through the We Care Westport portal. Additional funds will be directed to residents in need, for help in areas like rent and utility bills. To donate, click here.


Town officials have been working on a tax relief program. Yesterday, they recommended that the RTM approve a deferment program. It offers eligible taxpayers a 3-month grace period.

First Selectman Jim Marpe will explain the program at the RTM’s special meeting on April 22. He hopes they can vote on it at that meeting.


Earlier this month, the Board of Finance was scheduled to begin the approval process for a new concessionaire at Compo Beach and Longshore.

Then the coronavirus hit. The first year of the contract with Upsilon Entertainment Group had to be rewritten. Discussion and a vote was put off until April 15.

But the final lease language is not expected until today. That’s not enough time for the board to review.

Once that’s done, chair Brian Stern may schedule a special meeting. He does not want to jeopardize burgers and fries for the summer.

Then again, COVID-19 may do just that.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


Seth Schachter alerts readers to a desperate need for laptops and desktops in Bridgeport. Without them, students can’t log on to online classes.

The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport has organized a collection. To donate a computer, email CassShaw@ccgb.org.


Staples High School Class of 1999 graduate Sarah Buck owns Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a very popular fried chicken-plus restaurant in Brooklyn. She’s doing pick-up and delivery now — and supplying medical personnel at nearby Woodhull Hospital.

Meals are funded by donations. Woodhull also desperately needs N95 masks and other personal protective equipment. To support either or both efforts, email piesnthighs.com.

Sarah Buck (right), with Pies ‘n’ Thighs co-owner Caroline Bane.

 


These days, everyone exercises caution. Among the most careful: restaurant owners and staff. They prepare, cook and package meals carefully. They bring them curbside — or send them off for delivery — with care. They care about the safety of their customers. Here’s the Gold’s crew, being very cautious:

(Photo/Tom Roth)For a full list of local restaurants and markets open and eager to serve, click here; then scroll down.


We’ve heard of goats galloping through a town in Wales, and coyotes prowling the streets of San Francisco.

What about Westport? Yesterday, Matt Finkle spotted this beaver sunning itself on the shore of Ned Dimes Marina.


And finally, a bit of Andra Day. Not just any video, mind you — this is YouTube’s “Inspiration Version.” Rise Up, indeed!

New Beach Concessionaire Ready For Approval

No one knows when Compo Beach and Longshore will reopen.

But when they do, the Parks & Recreation Department will be ready.

After announcing in November that Joey’s by the Shore is no longer the concessionaire at the beach, pool and halfway house, Parks & Rec sent out an RFP.

There were 5 responses. Three applicants were interviewed. And the winner is …

Upsilon Entertainment Group.

The Larchmont, New York-based firm begins the approval process at a Board of Finance meeting tomorrow (Wednesday. April 1). The 8 p.m. Zoom meeting will be livestreamed on WestportCT.gov, and shown on on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020.

Then, at a public meeting on April 7 (8:30 a.m.), the Planning & Zoning Commission considers the 1st selectman’s 8-24 Request for a Report about the new concessionaire. The meeting will be streamed live on the town website, and on Cablevision Channel 79.

The P&Z’s purview is to consider the overall planning impact of the proposed lease for the use of these municipal spaces. Public comment can be made in writing only. Email pandz@westportct.gov, to ensure that comments are circulated to the entire P&Z Commission.

Interested residents can review the application materials, including the proposed lease, here: https://www.westportct.gov/government/departments-a-z/planning-and-zoning-department/p-z-pending-applications

Final approval would be granted by the Board of Selectmen. A date for that meeting has not yet been set.

Upsilon Entertainment Group hopes to be the new beach concessionaire. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)