Kelly Kraus

Recent Articles

‘The Vibe Is Awesome’: Gates Reopens

Some 10 months after closing its doors for the first time since launching in 1979, Gates restaurant is re-opening this week under new ownership, with a fresh look and menu. Though no formal word went out about it, New Canaanites descended on the Forest Street institution for a hopping bar scene Monday night, while an invite-only dining crowd filled the newly configured main floor at Gates—complete with a food bar overlooking a wood-fired oven and open kitchen. The bar now will be open nightly, while the restaurant is on track to open for dinner service this weekend (by reservation only), according to Jay Luther, an owner of Gates with fellow town resident Paul Tully. It isn’t clear yet just when Gates will open for lunch—stay tuned. “It’s fantastic,” Luther said of the long-awaited re-opening. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

A building permit application has been filed for a new, 8,600-square-foot home planned for 386 Weed St.—part of a large-scale project for a combined 7-acre parcel that had drawn some criticism from neighbors and originally included a 15,000-square-foot manmade pond that since has been withdrawn from the plan. The new home will include 40 rooms and will cost about $2.4 million to build, according to a building permit application filed May 15. The contractor on the project is Westport-based Coastal Construction and architect is Christian Rae Studio LLC of Easton. ***

Animal Control officers fined a Weed Street woman $90 for allowing her dog to roam after they saw her let a golden retriever off leash at Irwin Park at about 12:19 p.m. on May 22. The officers were in an unmarked car and watched the woman waiting for them to leave, which they did and then looped around to the far side of the park where they assessed the ticket for allowing a dog to roam (which now includes an additional $46 fine). Continue Reading →

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VOTE: Advocates To Propose Keeping Pop Up Park in Place All Summer


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The creators of the Pop Up Park downtown will apply to keep the gathering space set up continuously from Memorial Day to Labor Day—a move they expect will further boost its usability and visibility while creating an opportunity to upgrade to sturdier furniture. Launched on a test basis in the summer of 2012 and evolving each successive year into a more regular fixture, the “park” occupies the final block of South Avenue. It includes tables, chairs, a water fountain and often special set-ups from local musicians, businesses, nonprofits and community groups that create family-friendly entertainment and activities. Last summer saw the Pop Up Park set up each Friday and broken down again late Sunday so that the block reverts to accommodate motor vehicle traffic for the workweek. It “brings people into the downtown area in a recreational manner,” said Keith Simpson, a longtime New Canaan resident who owns a landscape architectural design firm and serves on the Pop Up Park Committee. Continue Reading →

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Bucking ‘In-Town’ Trend, Realtors Turn to New Canaan’s ‘Upper East Side’

Kelly Kraus says that when she came to New Canaan in 1999, prospective homebuyers moving here overwhelmingly wanted homes on four-acre lots north of town. Then in 2004, the sale of a home at 110 South Ave. (and soon after, another on Brooks Road), kickstarted a trend of tearing down and building anew “in town”—call it above Farm Road to about St. Mark’s, and as wide as a walkable distance to the business district. Realtors hyper-focused on that geography—driven by the tastes of prospective residents as well as New Canaanites already here who were seeking to downsize to more manageable properties after, say, their kids moved out, Kraus said. Continue Reading →

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