Outdoor Dining Season in Downtown New Canaan on Track for April 1 to Oct. 31

Town officials on Wednesday approved the installation of new concrete “planter” barricades for outdoor dining for the upcoming season. The Police Commission voted 3-0 during its regular meeting to allow for the barricades to be put in place from April 1 to Oct. 31. They’ll be placed on either side of the sidewalk “bumpouts” on the northern side of Elm Street, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. They will be “in the area from, say, in front of Rosie’s and then the area from Solé from the Playhouse westward past Chef Luis,” Mann told the Commission at the meeting, held in Town Hall and via videoconference.

Blackbird Restaurant on Elm Street ‘Opening Soon’

The new restaurant planned since last spring for Elm Street next to The Playhouse is close to opening, owners say. Blackbird, which owners say will offer a wide range of cuisine that patrons can share, is “opening soon,” according to its website. Promoted as “chic cocktails and bites in New Canaan,” the restaurant at 105 Elm St.—between the movie theatre and Solé, formerly home to Potpourri and, later, Fat Face—is “a sleek and sophisticated bar and restaurant in the heart of downtown New Canaan,” the website said. “Our moody ambiance is the perfect backdrop for your night out: dim lighting, share plates of inventive dishes for the table, and rounds of handcrafted cocktails— come for the buzz, stay for the vibes,” the site said. It’s owned by Z Hospitality Group, which owns Solé as well as Aurora in Rye, N.Y., EastEnd and Mediterraneo in Greenwich, and Terra, which has locations in Greenwich and Danbury.

Landlord Files To Formally Evict Shuttered Pizza Shop

The Main Street pizza shop that closed last month amid two lawsuits against the business now is being sued by the commercial property’s owner. According to a complaint filed March 1 in state Superior Court as part of an eviction, Best Pizza Shop at 62 Main St. hadn’t paid rent since September. 

The marshal charged with serving the eviction “indicated that the business was no longer operating,” according to a complaint filed on behalf of the property owner by attorney Thomas B. Noonan of Southport-based Brody Wilkinson PC. “The Marshal also noted that the premises were not secure,” the complaint said. “Subsequent conversations between/among the parties have further indicated that the business is no longer operating and has not operated for about a month or so as of the date of this complaint.

PHOTOS: Refreshed ‘Gofer Ice Cream’ To Open Friday

Phil and Mina Luongo have been frequenting Gofer Ice Cream with their kids for years. The Norwalk residents’ kids attend Strawberry Hill School in Stamford, and on the way home they regularly hit the Gofer on High Ridge Road. 

An accountant by trade, Phil Luongo in December 2022 spotted a sign inside at one point about becoming a franchise owner. “I said to my wife, ‘We always wanted to open our own business, what about Gofer Ice Cream?’ ” he recalled. They signed up with the parent company to become franchisees a few months later and learned about an opportunity in New Canaan, where an owner was stepping away from ice cream shop at 103 Main St.—for decades the Baskin Robbins, which closed in December 2019. The Luongos became owners Jan.

‘Taj Indian Cuisine’ Restaurant Coming to South Avenue

An Indian restaurant with locations in Stamford, Westport and Fairfield is coming to South Avenue in downtown New Canaan. The owners of Taj Indian Cuisine on Wednesday received approval to create the restaurant at 9 South Ave., formerly Mackenzie’s and vacant for four years. The Planning & Zoning Commission during a regular meeting held at Town Hall and via videoconference granted site plan approval to the restaurant’s owners, as per the New Canaan Zoning Regulations. (An audio problem with the Zoom broadcast of the meeting prevented attendees from hearing P&Z’s discussion or vote, though the town planner confirmed the approval, with no conditions, via email.)

The new restaurant is the second provider of Indian food in town, following Chef Prasad Chirnomula’s eponymous restaurant on Main Street. According to the Taj website, the new restaurant uses “traditional Indian cooking techniques along with unexpected ingredient combinations, forward-thinking flavor profiles, contemporary plating and impressive table service.