May ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ Downtown Canceled 


Doug Zumbach at the coffee shop downtown on April 21, 2020. Credit: Michael Dinan

The founder of a popular car show that draws thousands of people to New Canaan each year said Tuesday that he’s canceling the May event for health and safety reasons. 

Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous coffee shop at Pine and Grove Streets, said the May 17 Caffeine & Carburetors scheduled for downtown New Canaan would be canceled.

The situation in town hasn’t changed much in the past month “and I think we all owe it to each other to keep ourselves healthy, and our neighbors healthy,” Zumbach told 

“In running a Caffeine & Carburetors event, there is just no possibility of keeping a social distance, and I just will not tax our systems—the police, EMTs, the town—just to run a car event,” he said. “We have to keep everyone safe and happy.”

He already canceled the April gathering, which had been planned for this past Sunday.

As of Tuesday night, New Canaan had 152 positive cases of the COVID-19 virus and 21 residents had succumbed to coronavirus disease, according to the Officer of Emergency Management. Schools, parks and non-essential businesses all have been forced to shutter by orders of the governor and first selectman, while restaurants have switched to delivery- and pickup-only models, and retailers have pushed e-commerce channels.

The next Caffeine & Carburetors is scheduled for Sept. 13 downtown. Zumbach said organizers would look at whether to hold the event as the date approaches.

Asked how Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee is faring, he said, “We are doing OK. Of course our revenues are down by a good percentage. But loyal customers are coming. A lot of pounds of coffee, cups of coffee. We are looking at ways to extend our service in the near future. But right now we are looking at surviving.”

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