Local Businesses and COVID-19: Gates

For today’s Q&A with a local business owner, we hear from Jay Luther of Gates. The Forest Street mainstay is now open for indoor as well as outdoor dining. Here’s our interview. New Canaanite: Gates, and other local restaurants, had been compelled for months to offer food on a pickup or delivery basis only, and now we are seeing those restrictions start to lift in phases. What has this all been like for you at Gates and how are you faring? 

Jay Luther: We’ve been blessed with support from everyone – our customers, the Chamber, landlord and vendors. We’re all in this together and the support has been remarkable. Chef Luis [Lopez] worked over 70 days straight and carried us through curbside pickup and delivery to bring food to New Canaan families as well as our local first responder heroes.

Tequila Mockingbird on Forest Street Is Sold; Chef-Owner Paul Mauk To Leave at Summer’s End

Paul Mauk had been working as a professional artist, painter and teacher of fine arts when he left his native Colorado in 1981 for Brooklyn, N.Y.

He hated living in New York City, and after about one year Mauk heard about an opportunity some 50 miles north. “Somebody knew [former Gates owner] Billy [Auer] and these guys, and said, ‘I’ve got some friends out in New Canaan—they’ll give you a job,’ ” Mauk recalled on a recent afternoon as pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic passed by the familiar, colorful exterior of Tequila Mockingbird. Mauk jumped at the chance. Arriving, Mauk moved in upstairs at 10 Forest St. (or, as the formal tax records now variously have it, 18 Forest St.