Photo by Lilly Weisz '23
“When you walk in, I mean, if you’ve seen it before, I think it looks totally different,” Pecoriello said. “So again, we tried to keep what was charming about it. We hope people see that we kept the exact same feel to the place.”
With their lease beginning on Sept. 1, 2020, the Pecoriellos also came to The Porch ready to take on a post-COVID consumer market. Fittingly, they have emphasized their porch seating and added heat lamps to extend the time frame of outdoor seating.
“I think that we thought about the porch now as kind of the restaurant of the future,” Pecoriello said. “We all see that we’re willing to eat outside in much more extreme weather conditions than I think we ever were.”
The Pecoriellos have also digitized their ordering and are entering the restaurant business with full expectations to be doing take-away and delivery, including curbside pickup, in addition to their in-person dining.
As a whole, the Pecoriellos hope to both give employment to disabled adults while also reviving the Westport mom-and-pop spirit. They believe that The Porch can fill the hole in Staples students’ hearts after the loss of Christie’s Country Store. One Staples student, Sophie Spheeris ’23, remembers fond memories of visiting Christie’s with her friends.
“It was a nice spot to meet up and mingle with other people who you’re not as close with. And they had pretty good food,” Spheeris said.
Like many of her peers, she is hoping for The Porch to be a place to get good food, grab a coffee or hang out with friends.
“I’m excited, just because it’s nice to have a food place so close to school. I miss Christie’s, and Chef’s Table was also pretty good, but yeah, I’m excited,” Spheeris said.
The Pecoriellos are ready to cater to the hungry tummies Staples students such as Spheeris, as well as the greater Westport and Fairfield County community.
“People love this property and have wonderful memories of it,” Pecoriello said, “and we wanted to restore it so that the next generation could have wonderful memories here.”