SNEAK PEEK: ‘Waffle Cabin’ To Open Saturday at Pine Street Concessions

A widely anticipated new dessert option is coming to New Canaan, as Waffle Cabin is slated to open this weekend at Pine Street Concessions. 

The hot Belgian sugar waffle shop, already known to scores of New Canaanites from the annual Holiday Stroll and area ski mountains, launches at 12 p.m. Saturday with its new counter at the Pine Street food hall. 

“I am so excited,” owner Corey Londoner said. “This has been a long time coming. It is a little surreal that it is finally here and I can’t wait to share these waffles with everyone.”

News that Waffle Cabin would set up a permanent location here created plenty of buzz when Londoner announced her plans in December. With the custom-built counter in place, Waffle Cabin rounds out the offerings at Pine Street Concessions, which also features the wood-fired favorite ‘Dante’s Pizza,’ ’Miyuki,’ an Asian noodle shop with an assortment of snacks and ‘Greens On The Go,’ a California-inspired eatery featuring fresh salads, nutrient-rich grain bowls and artisanal toasts. Set against the parking lot-facing eastern window-wall of the space, Waffle Cabin’s attractive wooden counter helps square off the Concessions’ interior without taking away from its roomy feel, clear outdoor views or ample seating. 

Parts of the Waffle Cabin setup are not yet in place, such as its menu board, signs and all-important waffle irons, which arrive Thursday, Londoner said. 

Even so, a sign spotlighting several flavors of SoCo Creamery handcrafted ice creams (chocolate chip, vanilla, mint chip, coffee, dirty chocolate, cinnamon, cookies ’n cream and salted caramel) as well as sorbets (raspberry and mango) could be seen behind the counter. 

“The new counter came out amazing and it fits into Pine Street Concessions perfectly,” Londoner said. “There have been a bunch of hiccups with it but in the end it was worth all the effort.”

Londoner already has joined the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, whose executive director, Tucker Murphy, said she’s looking forward to this weekend.

Meet Rob Hall, New Owner of ‘New Canaan Wine Merchants’

Rob Hall says fate led him to New Canaan Wine Merchants. Chatting with friends at a local restaurant last summer, Hall mentioned a career change he had in mind, and came to learn that a lease on the Pine Street full-service liquor store was not to be renewed. 

Since graduating from Susquehanna University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology, Hall had worked in corporate sales and marketing—mostly in the food and beverage industry with large branded companies such as Dole Foods, Colgate, Palmolive and Pepperidge Farms. 

I was in corporate life for 20 years and got a little tired of it,” Hall said on a recent morning from the newly configured sales floor of New Canaan Wine Merchants. “You know, reporting to someone else, working for someone else and I wanted to make that change to where I can support myself, my family and the community and at the same time be my own boss.”

Since taking over in November, Hall—a 1992 Wilton High School graduate who resides in Wilton with his wife and their two kids—has been working 80 hours per week, putting his own mark on the offerings at New Canaan Wine Merchants as he realizes a dream of owning his own business for the first time. Asked why he chose this specific business and New Canaan in particular, Hall noted that it’s “an established business and the timing worked out right.”

“New Canaan is a local town, that supports local and small business,” he said. “They are about sports, community about their kids and that’s the kind of community and town I want to thrive in.”

He’s already forging connections in the community, joining the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and working to support area charities and organizations such as the New Canaan Squash Club and Fairfield’s Caroline House, which serves low-income immigrant women. 

Among other changes at New Canaan Wine Merchants (see below), Hall said he is renewing the shop’s focus on warmth and customer service. 

“Our number priority is to cater to the customers,” he said.

‘How Special and Unique Our Downtown Is’: 14th Annual Holiday Stroll Coming Friday and Saturday

Locals are gearing up for a hugely popular event that sees downtown New Canaan transformed into a walkable winter wonderland featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music and dance, S’mores, ice sculpture, waffles, gingerbread houses and a spotlight on local businesses. The 14th annual Holiday Stroll is to be held 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Presented by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the free Stroll “brings everybody downtown together,” said the organization’s Laura Budd. “It has been cold, people are not gathering outside as much as they have in the past, and this allows them to come into town and kick off the holiday season,” Budd said. “There’s all local talent performing and the stores really go all out and put their best foot forward.

PHOTOS: Second Annual ‘Scarecrow Fest’ Adorns Downtown New Canaan

Downtown New Canaan got a seasonal makeover this week as local families and businesses created dozens of scarecrows now hanging from lampposts on Elm, Forest and Main Streets and South Avenue. Organized by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and Young Women’s League, the second annual Scarecrow Fest is sponsored by Weed & Duryea. It’s “just a fun way to dress town up and get ready for the [Oct. 28] Halloween Parade,” Chamber Executive Tucker Murphy said. 

“Anybody who comes downtown—I don’t care if you are two or 102—if you walk up Elm and Main, no matter what street, all it does is bring a smile to your face,” she said. “It’s another great community builder.”

Many of those putting together the scarecrows got very creative, Murphy said, such as Francos Wine Merchants using corks for fingers and grapes for hair, or The Linen Shop, which features a scarecrow tucked under a shower curtain.

‘Braziliant Body Waxing’ Opens on Main Street 

Luciana Araujo had been working as a lawyer in her native Brazil when she arrived in Danbury with zero English and two young children in 2004. 

At 32, she’d followed her husband to the United States on the promise that after one year here on his own, he had secured a small apartment for the family. 

Instead, Araujo learned, he wanted the family to move in with a cousin who had no room for all four of them. The cousin handed them the keys to a car and urged them to “go look for an apartment,” she recalled. “We ended up sleeping for two days in the car in front of Target at Exit 8 in Danbury when I got here,” Araujo recalled on a recent afternoon. “Me, my kids and him. My kids still remember the situation.