‘He Has Always Been a Kind of Mentor’: Chef Returns To Volunteer at Cherished Pizza Place

Lorenzo Colella has known Paul Mauk since he was a kid growing up on Forest Street. 

The eatery his parents had opened in 1967, Joe’s Pizza, sat for most of its life just two doors down from Mauk’s Tequila Mockingbird, and Colella would come to see the family friend as a mentor. Colella’s mother Annunziata passed away two years ago, his father Giuseppe in May. Soon after, he lost some help at the pizzeria, now on Locust Avenue, and consulted Mauk, who had sold Tequila last summer after a successful 25-year run. Mauk volunteered to help out, and in just a few months, he’s made an indelible mark at Joe’s, primarily through encouraging Colella to trust his own talents as a chef and in tweaking a pizza recipe that’s been feeding New Canaanites for decades. “One of the main things he does is motivating me mentally, and making me realize I have a lot of capability and what I do is unique,” Colella said.

Parking Officials Re-Designate Time Limit in Two Areas on Locust to 30 Minutes

Responding to a business owner’s request, town officials are re-designating an area of Locust Avenue as 30-minute parking. The areas directly in front of the Post Office and Joe’s Pizza across the street long have been two-hour parking, as is the rest of downtown New Canaan. Yet town officials recently confirmed with parking enforcement officers “that the people that were parking on that street were not frequenting businesses like Joe’s Pizza or the Post Office—they were using that area to park and go to an office or other places of work,” Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg told members of the Police Commission during their regular meeting last week. The town long has urged employees of downtown New Canaan businesses to park in municipal lots and leave coveted on-street parking for those seeking to shop and dine here. Last year, the Parking Bureau issued a new type of permit, in Morse Court and the Park Street Lot, specifically to that end.

Did You Hear … ?

The town on May 11 received an application for the owner of the Huguette Clark estate on Dan’s Highway to build a tennis court on the 52-acre property. The 120-by-60-foot court will cost $98,750 to build. The contractor on the job is Oval Tennis Inc. of Somers, N.Y., architect Frangione Engineering LLC of New Canaan. ***

Congratulations to New Canaan High School senior lacrosse player Nick Crovatto, who broke a longstanding Rams record Monday in a game vs. Trumbull with his 676th faceoff win.

Annual Fishing Derby Set for Saturday at Mill Pond

New Canaan’s young anglers will descend on Mill Pond Saturday morning for one of the town’s most cherished community traditions—the annual fishing derby. Registration will start at 8 a.m. for the popular free event—a competition for special prizes—and fishing will start at 8:30 a.m. The fishing derby is open to kids 15 and younger, and 10-and-unders must be accompanied by an adult.

“We are always so thrilled to see so many families come out together to take advantage of such a beloved event,” said Tucker Murphy, president of the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan. “We really want to thank the Police Benevolent Association. They really stepped to help pay for the re-stocking. Without the help of police, fire and DPW, this event would not happen.

Did You Hear … ?

A mother turkey hopped out into Valley Road around 12:30 p.m. on June 7 to keep at bay a town woman walking her dog up near the Grupes Reservoir. The mama turkey apparently was guarding her three baby chicks nearby—unfortunately, a passing motorist struck the big bird and killed her. The pedestrian phoned the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department, and Officer Allyson Halm spotted the baby turkeys but lost them on retrieving a carrier from the van. ***

Congratulations to New Canaan resident Pasquale Poccia, who became a U.S. citizen this week after taking the Oath of Allegiance on Wednesday during the 6th annual Flag Day Naturalization Ceremony at Mystic Seaport. Poccia is owner of Pasquale’s Osteria, an Italian and International/Continental cuisine restaurant on Main Street in Norwalk.