Stewarts Spirits To Move Into New Elm Street Building This Fall

The modern, two-story building that’s been taking shape this year in a prominent, conspicuous location opposite the train station on Elm Street is set to welcome its first major tenant in the coming weeks, officials say. Stewarts Spirits, the fine wine shop added in 1974 to the New Canaan’s family’s longtime market by Robert Bailey Stewart—grandson of Walter and Nellie Stewart and son of Walter A. Stewart Sr. and Audrey Bailey Stewart—is on track to open in the brand-new structure this fall, according to Doug Stewart. “We are excited that the new home of Stewart’s Wine & Spirits is taking shape and we seem to be in the home stretch,” he said. The shop will occupy the 1,623-square-foot first floor of the building, designed by Westport-based Frederick William Hoag Architect. Melissa Engel, who owns the property and has overseen the new building’s construction as project manager, said the glass walls of the second floor space will go in this week.

Two New Canaan Women To Open ‘Private Showroom’ on Elm Street for Designer Men’s Clothes

Two New Canaan women next week are opening what they’re calling “a private showroom” for custom men’s suits on Elm Street, a place where they plan to display samples and meet with clients. Melissa Engel, who is opening the J. Hilburn-brand showroom with longtime friend Keleigh McAuliffe, said New Canaan is a perfect location. “I think that New Canaan is a sophisticated market because of its proximity to New York City,” Engel said. “New Canaan is sensitive to fashion trends and quality, but is also definitely still price sensitive and interested in good value.”

Asked to describe New Canaan’s style, Engel said: “I would say that we are a very conservative and somewhat preppy town. There are some young, metro trends in the city that I don’t think New Canaan would adopt.”

Located at 199 Elm St.—directly across from the train station, in The Glass House building—the showroom will feature much of the Hilburn line, including suits, dress and casual shirts and shorts.

Did You Hear … ?

Many New Canaanites by now have seen a rendering of the Midcentury Modern-inspired commercial building that John and Melissa Engel have planned for the lot at 215 Elm St. The architect on the project is Westport-based Frederick William Hoag. Some time after John Engel explained what he had in mind to a University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation professor, a document that included some truly fascinating concepts came in from students (see above). The Maryland architecture program been called the only one in the nation that includes professional Masters programs and related PhD-level studies in planning, preservation and real estate development within the same school. ***

Bill Egan, the newly hired principal of New Canaan High School, has gotten into the spirit of the job very quickly: At his formal introduction at the Board of Education meeting on Monday night, board member Sheri West astutely noted, Egan was sporting a NCHS Rams tie.