Local Businesses and COVID-19: New Canaan Diner

For today’s Q&A with a local business, we talk to Ritta Haralabidis, a manager at New Canaan Diner. The diner is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days per week for curbside pickup and delivery, with services including Uber Eats and Door Dash. Haralabidis during our interview noted that New Canaan families preparing for graduations can use the diner for catering needs. 

Here’s our exchange. 

New Canaanite: How are you doing at New Canaan Diner? It’s been tough out there. Ritta Haralabidis: It has been tough.

Annual Fishing Derby Set for Saturday at Mill Pond

New Canaan’s young anglers will descend on Mill Pond Saturday morning for one of the town’s most cherished community traditions—the annual fishing derby. Registration will start at 8 a.m. for the popular free event—a competition for special prizes—and fishing will start at 8:30 a.m. The fishing derby is open to kids 15 and younger, and 10-and-unders must be accompanied by an adult.

“We are always so thrilled to see so many families come out together to take advantage of such a beloved event,” said Tucker Murphy, president of the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan. “We really want to thank the Police Benevolent Association. They really stepped to help pay for the re-stocking. Without the help of police, fire and DPW, this event would not happen.

‘Good Weather is Coming’: Local Businesses Hope for Warmer, More Inviting Weather

With temperatures ranging from the mid-40’s to high-70’s, this spring’s weather has kept New Canaanites guessing—perhaps no group more so than local merchants. Local businesses have been feeling the effects unusual weather patterns, and though customers are still walking around, buying clothes and eating out, merchants are hoping that consistently summer-like temps arrive soon. Despina Tsartsabalidis, manager of the New Canaan Diner on Forest Street, said that the unusual weather has slowed down business due to customers preferring to sit inside, decreasing the amount of seating available. “It has affected the outside business,” Tsartsabalidis said. “Right now, it’s cold, no one is gonna sit outside, even though we have the heaters.

SLIDESHOW: 20 Things You Only Know If You Shop and Dine in New Canaan

New Canaanites have plenty of reasons to shop and dine locally, and those reasons go far beyond the fact that the village center has scores of independent businesspeople—retailers, restaurateurs, service providers—who work here and have had a tough go with the weather these past few weeks. Our owners-on-site specialize in their fields and offer a wide range of expertise. They support most every community event that locals associate with the town—fishing derby, Waveny summer concerts, Santa’s visit, little league, Holiday Stroll, ice cream social, Halloween Parade. It’s hard to find two important community events in a row in New Canaan that aren’t sponsored in some way by Walter Stewart’s, Karl Chevy or both. Because familiarity breeds conversation and rapport, we can come to know our local small business owners and workers better than we may at, say, out-of-town chains. The slideshow above is a testament to that strong connection—click through to learn more about some of those who make up the economic lifeblood of the business district.