Mar 30, 2012
09:48 AM
Discover Connecticut

Westport Rising


Bad economy? What bad economy? If you haven’t been to Westport lately, you’d better go soon--while you can still recognize the place. In the last six months the town’s seen an amazing number of store and restaurant openings. The downtown area alone has recently welcomed Nike, Calypso St. Barth, Theory, Benefit Cosmetics, Spruce Home & Garden, a West Elm pop-up shop, and a glitzy multilevel Urban Outfitters. (Have I missed anyone?) Further up the Post Road there’s Westport Invitations, a swanky furniture store called Montage, Retro Games Plus (which buys, sells and trades old school video games) and the rapidly materializing eco-friendly home-and-garden store, Terrain, where O’Keefe Cadillac once stood.

Then there are the businesses that have picked up stakes and moved to another part of town. Playhouse Square seems to be a popular destination: the Post Office and Purple Feet Wines have recently migrated there, soon to be joined by Main Street’s venerable Liquor Locker. Gap moved to three-story digs farther up Main Street, and Silver’s moved a few spaces over to accommodate a bigger (and better?) Trader Joe’s.

Westport’s restaurant scene is also white-hot. Spotted Horse Tavern (owned by the duo behind Gray Goose in Fairfield) opened Wednesday night in the restored 1802 Sherwood House on Church Lane. Nearby there’s Luxe Modern Wines & Cocktails and a new restaurant coming soon to the old Bogey’s space. Lots of refined palates are thrilled that sublime bakery/café Aux Delices, with four other locations in Fairfield County, will be also be debuting soon (on the Post Road, where Arcudi’s and Chef’s Table used to be), complete with outdoor seating..

And I haven’t even gotten to once-scruffy Saugutuck, now a veritable hive of culinary activity. Bill Rizzuto started the trend a few years ago with his epically popular Rizzuto’s. Now Bill Taibe’s packing in the foodies at Whelk, the lot is always full at Tarry Lodge, and soon they’ll be joined by Bistro 88 Asian Cuisine & Sushi in Bridge Square.

So things seem to be going swimmingly in Westport. Let’s hope this is harbinger of good news for the rest of the state as well.

Westport Rising

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