Podcast: New Canaan’s Craft Beer Expert and Entrepreneur

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free weekly podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to New Canaan resident Kevin Mardorf. After tasting his first craft beer at a New Canaan Nature Center event, Mardorf about eight years ago founded Fests LLC, an events company whose brands include CTBeer.com and BeerFests.com. His business has grown exponentially, with more than 100 events per year and hundreds of thousands of social media followers. 

This week’s podcast is sponsored by Francos Wine Merchants, New Canaan’s fine wine and spirit shop since 1933. Browse their wine, bourbon and single malt scotch and order online at FrancosWine.com for home delivery. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Popular Elm Street Café Seeks Permission To Place ‘Pole’ Sign Out Front

Saying it would help bring visibility, the owner of an Italian-style café on Elm Street is seeking permission from town officials to place a “pole sign” out front of the eatery. According to Dolce owner Andrea Lombardi, patrons have had difficulty finding the café at 98 Elm St. “due to its setback from the rest of the buildings on my side of the street.”

“Unfortunately, this has been further impacted by the large planter that was recently placed on the street (in a no parking zone) in front of my business,” Lombardi said in an Aug. 23 letter to the Planning & Zoning Commission. “This sign would be upon my landlord’s property and as shown by the enclosed picture, would help ‘direct’ potential patrons to my store and inform them of what I am serving.”

The Italy native opened Dolce two months ago in the former New Canaan Olive Oil space.

‘Live a Better Life’: New Canaan Man’s Energy Bar Company Marks One Year 

A career entrepreneur, Ryan Lee hit on his latest business idea about two years ago, toward the end of a period of declining health. It had started 10 years before, after Lee and his wife had their fourth child and he started gaining weight. His mother died the following year and then he was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder. While on vacation in 2017, Lee found that none of his clothes fit. HIs joints hurt, he could hardly walk, and his auto-immune flared up.

New Canaan Cleaners Seeks To Add Drive-Thru Pick-Up Service on Elm Street

The owners of New Canaan Cleaners are seeking to open a drive-thru pick-up service at an existing bank building on Elm Street. 

While keeping its main location on East Maple Street, the business would use a single lane closest to what is now a Bank of America drive-thru building at 278 Elm St., according to an application filed with Planning & Zoning. Bank of America would continue to use the far lane for ATM drive-thru purposes, while the middle lane would not be used, according to a site permit application narrative from New Canaan Cleaners co-owner David Mandel. “As a considerably smaller business than Bank of America the traffic driven by the business would be on a significantly smaller scale,” Mandel said in the application. 

“We believe by offering this convenience to our customers it will be a great thing for the community as a whole. This will also not change the intensity of use or parking requirements at the site and in fact will actually be less than that of Bank of America.”

Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, any non-office use is permitted in the Retail B zone with site plan approval (see page 78 here). The bank building’s landlord, Acme, operates next door in the former Food Emporium space.