Wondering what's going in to Vespa's space in Westport? Dan Woog has some answers.
In its 2 1/2 years in Westport, Vespa earned the loyalty of many customers.Unfortunately, they came almost entirely on Friday and Saturday nights. Owner Bobby Werhane thought there was a demand for “a New York style, modern rustic restaurant” in that location.
There was. But attracting diners on more casual weekdays was tough. Though the 155 seats inside were filled — and in summer, the 60-seat patio was packed — the size of National Hall, plus the difficulty of scheduling employees for both peak and slow times, led to what Werhane admits was “inconsistency.”
“The Cottage and the Whelk are small enough to do well consistently,” he says. “They’ve got a small, constant staff, and a tight menu. Their expenses are manageable. It was a lot tougher for us.”
One of the things he enjoyed most about Vespa was establishing strong relationships with guests. One was Sal Augeri.
A 14-year Westporter with 2 kids, Augeri — a Wall Street guy — was thinking about the next phase of his life. He’d always been interested in restaurants; he was involved in his town, so …
… welcome to the new spot that’s taking Vespa’s place. It’s called …
… The ‘Port.