Bedford Square features shops and restaurants in downtown Westport. The retail center has faced multiple closings this past year. (Photo by Graham Day '21)
Bedford Square features shops and restaurants in downtown Westport. The retail center has faced multiple closings this past year.

Photo by Graham Day '21

Westport says farewell to downtown business

January 27, 2020

Downtown Westport is an area filled with clothing stores, restaurants and a plethora of other destinations. However, many of Westport faced the loss of many businesses in 2019, for a variety of reasons. Here, Inklings displays those that hit the hardest.

Matsu sushi closes due to sales tax suspension

Matsu Sushi is one of many sushi restaurants in Westport, but has faced numerous closures over the past year.

Graphic by Molly Gold ’21

Matsu Sushi is one of many sushi restaurants in Westport, but has faced numerous closures over the past year.

Matsu Sushi closed temporarily due to the suspension of their Sales and Use tax permit on Oct 11.

The permit was suspended due to violations such as a discrepancy in the sales tax remittance from years past, according to WestportNow.

Many Staples students are no longer customers of the business due to the constant closings and accusations made against them by their employees.

“I don’t ever go to Matsu anymore because I never know if it’s open,” Shannon Conte ’21 said. “I also don’t really feel comfortable going there because of their history with their workers.”

I… don’t really feel comfortable going there because of their history with their workers”

— Shannon Conte ’21

The restaurant states that these discrepancies are caused by frequent closings over the past year.

In April, Matsu Sushi closed unexpectedly due to renovations. Additionally, the restaurant has had a tumultuous relationship with its workers, who went on strike in February due to a variety of reasons including excessive work hours, according to Dan Woog.

Matsu Sushi was also forced to reinstate two employees who won a lawsuit against the restaurant over its failure to provide minimum and overtime wages.

All businesses that intend to sell goods in Connecticut are required to have a Sales Tax Permit in order to operate their business, according to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. Matsu must have their permit reinstated before reopening.

Beach spot “Joey’s by the Shore” closes after 32 Years

The seagulls mark their common ground in flocks on top of the famous “Joey’s.”

Beach spot “Joey’s by the Shore” closes after 32 Years

Joey’s by the Shore will close promptly due to a loss of a rent agreement with the Westport Parks and Recreation Department, according to a press release on the Westport government website.

Joey’s had been serving Compo Beach and the Longshore Country Club with standard American fast food for 32 years. In a post on Dan Woog’s blog, Joey Romeo thanked the Westport community for supporting the joint.

Joey’s is no longer open for business.

This comes a year after the price of out-of-town parking passes in Compo Beach nearly doubled from $490 to $775. 

“Running Joey’s had been the highlight of my life,” Romeo wrote. “I wish everyone the best and I look forward to seeing our beloved customers, employees and friends around town.”

Jim Marpe stated in the press release that the restaurant will be missed by the Westport community.

 “We appreciate the many years of service Joey has provided to the community, especially at Compo Beach, providing food for our beachgoers and jobs for some of our young adults,” Marpe said.

Many Staples students are dismayed because of this closure, including Riley Burke ’23.

“I feel pretty upset,” he said. “I liked to do stuff at the beach and go to Joey’s.”

Marpe said in the press release that the town will work to get a new concessionaire in the spot of Joey’s.

Olympia Sports store closes in Westport

The sports store Olympia Sports on Post Road East announced it’s closing and has started its closing sale on many items.

Photo by Abbie Goldstein '22

The sports store Olympia Sports on Post Road East announced it’s closing and has started its closing sale on many items.

Olympia Sports, a retail sporting goods company, is closing its Westport location along with eight other stores throughout Connecticut due to a change in ownership.

JackRabbit, a different sporting goods company, recently purchased the company and is continuing to operate 75 different Olympia Sports stores across the country. Seventy-six stores nationwide are closing because they were not part of the acquisition.

Located on Post Road East, the area where Olympia Sports resides is convenient for many. Some Westporters are upset to lose the store’s location.

The store offers high-quality sportswear for affordable prices, which is nice, especially because sportswear has to be bought frequently”

— Dylan Qi ’23

“Olympia Sports is close to where I live, so it’s a lot easier to go there to get those things [sports equipment],” Tessa Moore ’22 said

The company has numerous discounts weekly that customers can take advantage of, and Westport athletes are disappointed that they will no longer have easy access to these costs.

“The store offers high-quality sportswear for affordable prices, which is nice, especially because sportswear has to be bought frequently,” Dylan Qi ’23 said.

Now that the store is closing, it is selling around $44 million worth of inventory, and offering discounts of up to 40% to their customers. Many Westport residents will be going to the store to purchase cheaper items for the last time.

“I’m definitely going to go there and buy my sports equipment for cheaper prices because of their sale,” Connor Neblock ‘21 said.

Many Westport residents are against these retail stores being replaced, and will miss having Olympia Sports in a local area.

“It’s sad that businesses like Olympia Sports are closing,” Anabelle Harr ’22 said, “because they can’t compete with growing technology.”

Chef’s Table Westport location announces its close

Photo contributed by Dan Woog

Chef’s Table offered a wide variety of food like sandwiches, salads, soups and coffees. It will be closing on Jan. 15.

Chef’s Table Westport location announces its close

Chef’s Table, located on 161 Cross Highway in Westport, will be closing on Jan. 15, due to low business.

Chef’s table opened in Westport on April 1, 2018. Most of the customers are students from Staples and Bedford along with construction workers, tradesmen and delivery men early in the morning. 

According to an article posted by Dan Woog, “Very simply, the location didn’t work out for us. We appreciate the folks who have supported us. We hope to see them at our Fairfield location,” owner Rich Herzfeld said.

Remy Teltser ’21
Chef’s Table opened on April 1 in the the previous Christie’s location.

Christie’s Country Store was open for nine years before Chef’s Table took it over. Christie’s was a neighborhood friendly after-school hangout for many local students but had to shut its doors due to high rent and sales tax. It closed in December 2018. 

“I’m sad that Chef’s Table is closing, because it is so close to my house,” Abby Carter ’20 said.  “And it had such such good coffee.” 

The Meatball Shop announces closing six months after opening

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Photo by Reilly Caldwell

The Meatball Shop, closing Jan. 12, offered customized meatball dishes, allowing people to choose between several types of meatballs and sides.

The Meatball Shop of Westport will be closing on Jan. 12, after about six months of service.

Co-owners Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow opened their eighth location at 2 Post Road West, Westport on June 22. The restaurant sits just across the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge from the downtown area.

According to an employee cited in an article by Dan Woog, “[e]xpensive rent and not enough customers” led to the closing.

Before The Meatball Shop, the space hosted The ‘Port for just 13 months.

“[T]he Westport rent keeps going up,””

— Evy Stevens '21

The space has shifted through several restaurants in the past few years, including Vespa, Miramar and Cafe Zanghi.

“I haven’t seen any restaurants that have been able to stay there since the Westport rent keeps going up,” Evy Stevens ’21 said. “On top of that, it’s right next to Bar Taco, which is one of the most popular restaurants in Westport.”

The Meatball Shop neighbors successful restaurants Bar Taco and Oko. Customers also cited limited parking as a possible reason for a lack of business.

In the New Year, CEO Adam Rosenbaum told 06880 that their focus would be redirected to their New York Locations.

About the Writers
Photo of Molly Gold
Molly Gold '21, Staff Writer

After taking Intro to Journalism at the start of her freshman year, Molly Gold ’21 is excited to begin writing for the paper.
“I joined Inklings because...

Photo of Charlotte Armstrong
Charlotte Armstrong '21, Staff Writer

Charlotte Armstrong ’21 is entering her first year in Inklings as a staff writer. She enjoys to write, but what brought her to Advanced Journalism were...

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