Five months after Westport’s main U. S. Post Office left its longtime site downtown, a Westport-based firm has signed on to bring a new restaurant to 154 Post Road East.
The restaurant will have a 4,650-square-foot main floor, a 4,200-square-foot lower level that will be used as banquet rooms for private receptions and parties, as well as an outdoor patio, according to HK Group Executive Vice President Franco Fellah, who represented the owner of 154 Post Road East, Ansley Westport Partners, during leasing negotiations.
Post 154 LLC, which will own the restaurant business, signed a lease for the site last Friday. The firm’s ownership team includes “experienced restaurateurs,” according to Alon Panovka, an Atlanta-based lawyer who represents Ansley Westport Partners.
“All parties are very excited, and we think it will be a great asset for Westport,” Panovka said. “We think this restaurant is going to create a new destination for downtown Westport.”
Ansley Westport has hired Beinfield Architecture, a Norwalk-based architectural firm, for the project. Construction of the restaurant set to begin this summer, but an opening date has not yet been determined, Panovka said.
Panovka did not disclose the name or theme of the new restaurant.
The dining enterprise will succeed Westport’s main postal branch, which closed last December at 154 Post Road East. The USPS, which had occupied the downtown building since the early 1930s, has since relocated to the Playhouse Square shopping center farther east on Post Road East.
Ansley Westport Partners acquired 154 Post Road East in May 2011 for $2.35 million.
Other neighboring property owners told the Westport News they welcome the arrival of a new restaurant.
“I think this new restaurant will be excellent; it’ll be great for the town,” said Rob Haroun, principal of Old Westport Town Hall LLC, which owns 90 Post Road East. “This will extend the walking path, up to Michele’s Pies. I’ve seen so many shops go in and out of those storefronts in that area, but hopefully what’s happening at 154 Post Road East and 90 and 100 Post Road East will create an extension of Main Street.
Yards away from 154 Post Road East, construction is set to begin this week of a new commercial building, which will include 4,200-square-foot of retail space, at 100 Post Road East, also owned by Old Westport Town Hall.
Next door, BlueCrest Capital, a hedge fund, has leased office space on the second floor of 90 Post Road East, Haroun said. The former Town Hall site houses on its first floor the Spruce Home & Garden store. A new restaurant is scheduled to open this summer in the lower level of 90 Post Road East, Haroun added.
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