In New Canaan, local merchants aren’t just people who sell us things: They’re our neighbors, our high school classmates, our kids’ youth sports coaches, our friends and often they’re the first people in town to give of their time, expertise, products and services to support human services organizations here.
Luis Lopez, one of New Canaan’s best-loved chefs, is set to reopen his eponymous restaurant in the heart of the downtown. ‘Chef Luis’ and many of the popular Nuevo Latino menu items that made it a go-to destination for food-lovers, could be back as early as Friday, Lopez said. “I’m very excited, a little nervous because I am concerned about the health of the community,” he told NewCanaanite.com. “So I am trying to make sure we doing everything required and possible to protect everybody.”
The restaurant at 129 Elm St. will focus on takeout to start and is awaiting approval of a liquor permit.
A locally owned and hugely popular sandwich shop in downtown New Canaan is closing for two weeks after an employee there tested positive for COVID-19 virus, its owners say. Club Sandwich will reopen after the Thanksgiving holiday, according to town resident Jennifer Gaspar, who owns the Cherry Street mainstay with her husband, Leo. “We are really sad to say it but we just found out west that someone who works for us tested positive and so we decided we had to follow the CDC guidelines and close down for two weeks,” Jennifer Gaspar told NewCanaanite.com.
Asked what is her message to customers, she said, “We are really sad to disappoint them and not be available for them but we want to keep our community healthy and safe, and our customers—they are our friends, too—and our employees and ourselves, so we are doing the right thing to keep everyone healthy and safe.”
The temporary closure comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during a Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday morning that “we are seeing an uptick if not a spike now in terms of the number of cases for New Canaan residents.”
Businesses such as Club Sandwich have worked under a series of public health-related restrictions since the onset of coronavirus disease here in March. Even taking precautions and following Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines, “it can still happen,” Jennifer Gaspar said, referring to having an employee test positive.
New Canaan’s family-owned pet store last week launched a new service designed to help keep local dogs clean and their owners happy. Pet Pantry Warehouse has fitted two dog-washing stations into its Grove Street store. “What we have found is that more and more of our clients would like the convenience of being able to utilize our self-serve pet washes,” Pet Pantry Executive Vice President Adam Jacobson told NewCanaanite.com.
Launched amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which recently forced New Canaan’s only other pet store to close, the washes are “very clean and easy-to-use,” Jacobson said. “You don’t have to bend over in your own bathtub in your own house, and you don’t have to clean up after yourself,” Jacobson said.
The store provides shampoo as well as towels for dog owners. Located toward a rear corner of the store, the two washing stations are private, and the bathing area itself is elevated behind a low wall, allowing owners to shampoo and rinse off their dogs while standing up.
After months of anticipation, Patisserie Salzburg bakery and café has opened in the heart of downtown New Canaan. Offering a wide range of sandwiches, soups and salads in addition to its specialty baked goods, desserts and coffees, the European-Style café at 25 Elm St. is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week. “We are very happy,” owner Par Shakiban said Wednesday morning amid a lunchtime rush at the brightly lit, cozy space where several socially distanced diners sat down for food both inside and out on the sidewalk. “We love the people in New Canaan because they’ve been more than gracious in welcoming us with an open heart.
One of New Canaan’s most beloved local chefs is preparing to reopen his restaurant in the heart of the downtown. Luis Lopez, owner of Chef Luis on Elm Street, said the restaurant is on track to open in its former space in the coming months. “I’m excited,” Lopez said Monday afternoon amid racks of glassware near the bar inside 129 Elm St. “I’m ready to go back and do my thing.”
Chef Luis left his eponymous restaurant in the summer of 2017 and it closed soon after, bookending a successful 10-year run. The commercial space—located opposite Francos Wine Merchants—has been occupied since then by two food service establishments.