Location of Planned June ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ To Be Decided


Though the most recent, hugely popular gathering of vintage and specialty car enthusiasts in downtown New Canaan came off without a hitch this month—spectators and participants seemed to have a great time and no complaints came in—the planning and staffing required to run it on Pine and Elm Streets likely is prohibitive for the original six events planned, officials say.

The creators of “Caffeine & Carburetors” will go before the volunteer group that handles on-street parking and road closures in New Canaan—the Police Commission—at its May 20 meeting in seeking permission for the next planned event, penciled in for June 15.

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Held for all of its four years on Pine Street—and then this year, on Elm, as well, as crowds approached 5,000 for the Sunday morning gathering—Caffeine & Carburetors was created by New Canaan’s Doug Zumbach, owner of Zumbach’s Coffee at Pien and Grove, Todd Brown of Ridgefield’s 109 Cheese & Wine, and Peter Bush of FM 95.9 The Fox.

Describing the trio as “extremely cooperative,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said the event has grown so popular that at a rate of one per month from April to November (minus July and August), and especially on two main downtown New Canaan thoroughfares, it has become cumbersome and difficult to manage and staff.

One possibility for future events is to have the first and last of the year downtown but to hold other Caffeine & Carburetors elsewhere in New Canaan—Waveny, the high school or possibly even downtown but off-street, such as in the Lumberyard Lot.

Zumbach was not immediately available for comment.

After a debut 2014 event drew a call from town officials for more oversight and organization, the future of Caffeine & Carbuetors—specifically, its frequency and exact location—have not been known. A Special Events permit is required for it. New Canaan businesses have said they like having the event downtown, even if it directly benefits food providers the most.

Yet, officials say, it has become increasingly difficult to secure the services of individuals needed to ensure a safe Caffeine & Carburetors—police and the all-volunteer Community Emergency Response Team, for example, which already has several events to staff in June—and so a different location is needed.

An “after action review” was held last week with the architects of Caffeine & Carburetors, police, CERT leaders, businesspeople and neighbors.

Asked for the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s perspective, the organization’s executive director, Tucker Murphy, told NewCanaanite.com: “We love the event, we support he event and we are totally willing to work with them so that everybody is comfortable going forward.”

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