Local Merchants

In New Canaan, local merchants aren’t just people who sell us things: They’re our neighbors, our high school classmates, our kids’ youth sports coaches, our friends and often they’re the first people in town to give of their time, expertise, products and services to support human services organizations here.

Recent Articles

FIRST LOOK: Clothing, Accessories and Gifts Shop ‘Groove’ Opens on Elm Street

A new shop offering a wide range of “on-trend” clothing for boys, girls and women, as well as accessories and gifts, has soft-opened in a brightly lit, colorful space on Elm Street. A Grand Opening is to be held Friday and Saturday at Groove (here on Facebook and here on Instagram), according to the company. “We’re so excited to be a part of this great community,” owner Corri Neckritz told NewCanaanite.com through a spokesperson. The store at 115 Elm St., formerly had been occupied by Ralph Lauren Kids, though it underwent extensive interior renovations to accommodate Groove. It’s Neckritz’s second shop, after Westport, where Groove recently moved into a larger commercial space. Continue Reading →

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‘Ally-Bally-Bee’: Handcrafted Gift Store To Open This Month on Elm Street

Prior to moving to the United States from her native Scotland 11 years ago, Morag Grassie had been deeply immersed in her career as a scientific researcher. After earning a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Glasgow University and doctorate degree at the Institute of Virology, a government agency, she worked as a research fellow and professor, then spent eight years in psychiatric drug development and finally in human genome DNA research, leading one company’s large pharmacological department. The family moved here (they’re now in Redding, kids aged 21, 19 and 15) for the sake of her husband’s career and “I left my other life,” Grassie recalled on a recent afternoon. Unable after just a few years out of her field to re-penetrate the job market in the United States at a hard-won, accustomed level, Grassie decided “I’m doing something different,” she recalled, “and I started to look for a property to do this business idea that had been incubating for quite a while.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Chamber to P&Z: It’s Time To Review New Canaan’s Zoning Regulations for Main and Elm

New Canaan’s charming downtown remains attractive to prospective merchants as well as visitors, though changes in retail in recent years should prompt officials to update some of the zoning regulations that restrict the type of businesses that can occupy street-level storefronts, according to the head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations now (see page 72 here), non-retail uses are largely restricted on the street level throughout the “Retail A” zone (in purple here) of Main and Elm Streets. For example, the only service establishments allowed are on the first floor of any building are “personal service” businesses such as salons. Medical, educational or fitness-related uses are relegated to upper floors or business zones beyond the “magic circle” downtown. Those downtown business zones “have served us well over the years, but the time might have come that we want to consider some of the businesses in the Retail A zones and places like that, that complement retail,” Tucker Murphy, the chamber’s executive director, told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during their regular meeting on Tuesday night. Continue Reading →

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‘We Found Great Chefs’: Noodle Shop, Wood-Fired Italian Food Provider and California-Inspired Organic Eatery To Open at ‘Pine Street Concessions’ This Spring

Three eateries are slated to open this spring in the newly built gourmet food hall that’s taken shape on Pine Street over the past year, officials say. Featuring a brick-paved curbside plaza out front and communal seating inside, the widely anticipated Pine Street Concessions will serve as a showcase for three artisanal chefs—each with his or her own retail counter space and kitchen—serving classic wood-fired oven pizza and Italian foods, noodles and Asian street food snacks, and California-inspired fresh salads, grain bowls and other organic fare, according to owner Peter Lane of NCLC. Lane said he’s been deliberate in searching for the right businesses to open at 75 Pine St., offering foods that are unique in New Canaan, organic and locally sourced when possible and will appeal to families with young kids as well as adults seeking a casual spot to dine out (beer and wine will be available). “We feel great that we found great chefs,” he said Tuesday morning from the spacious floor inside the steel-framed structure, naturally lit with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the street and a 20-space parking lot. When Pine Street Concessions opens, the plaza out front will be all-pedestrian, closed within planters and bollards as per the Planning & Zoning Commission’s approval two years ago and featuring picnic tables for diners. Continue Reading →

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Property Owner in Legal Filing: Mrs. Green’s Failed To Pay Rent, Violated Terms of 20-Year Lease

Mrs. Green’s starting in November failed to pay rent for the commercial building in downtown New Canaan that it continued to occupy at least into the following month, according to a legal filing brought on behalf of the property’s owners. The grocery chain breached its 20-year lease for the former Post Office building at Park and Pine Streets, according to an active suit filed with the Housing Session at state Superior Court in Norwalk. In failing to pay its rent, common area charges and late charges, the actions of Mrs. Green’s amount to “unfair and deceptive methods of competition and unfair and deceptive trade practices within the meaning of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,” according to the suit, filed Dec. 15 by attorney Stephen Walko of Greenwich-based Ivey, Barnum & O’Mara LLC on behalf of property owner ESP Pine Street LLC. “Defendants’ actions were willful and intentional and were performed as part of and in connection with the goods and services it provides in the conduct of a trade, business or commerce,” the complaint said. Continue Reading →

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