Local Businesses and COVID-19: Rosie

For today’s Q&A with a local business owner navigating the COVID-19 emergency and safety-related restrictions, we hear from Rose Bonura of Rosie, the popular eatery on Elm Street that’s doing a brisk business in dinner pickups. Here’s our exchange. 

How are you all doing there? We are hanging in with curbside delivery and everyone is healthy, thank God. We are taking temperatures when people [staff] walk in, and everybody has to wash their hands. And so far, everybody is good.

Did You Hear … ?

The town on April 12 issued a permit to demolish the 1952-built Cape at 71 Hillcrest Road down to the foundation (which will remain). A Stamford couple bought the property in March for $900,000, tax records show. The lot includes one acre in the 1-acre zone. ***

New Canaan Police reported this week the department has seen seven vandalism-related incidents through March 2019, compared to just three in the same quarter last year. Authorities also reported during the Police Commission’s regular meeting that fraud-related incidents have declined from 26 to 11 since last year, while motor vehicle violations are up to 1,218 this year from 1,170 in 2018.

‘A Really Fun Community Day’: Sidewalk Sale Coming Saturday

The 53rd Annual Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale this weekend will feature vendor booths, food trucks, child-friendly activities, live music and, as of the latest forecasts, clear sunny skies. The Sidewalk Sale, to be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday after local merchants with street-level shops put out their discount racks at 10 a.m. Friday until 4 p.m. that afternoon, promises to be “a really fun community day,” said the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s Laura Budd. The Friday headstart for local businesses is designed to give shoppers a “preview” of the day-long event, Budd said. Parking in all legal spaces will be free starting at 12 p.m. Friday. The real excitement of the Village Fair portion will begin Saturday, Budd said, when portions of Elm Street, Main Street, Forest Street and South Avenue are closed to motor vehicle traffic to create the quintessential “safe and family friendly pedestrian mall.”

In all, 110 vendors are scheduled to set up shop outdoors, with exclusive deals and bargains.

Did You Hear … ?

An entity identifying itself as ‘New Canaan Merritt Apartments LLC’ has filed a lawsuit saying a town man has failed to pay rent on a Park Street unit while subletting it out. The defendant lives on Valley Road and he didn’t pay rent in March or April, then failed to clear out of the unit as instructed, according to a complaint filed April 29 in state Superior Court in Norwalk. According to the New England Real Estate Journal, a limited liability company more than three years ago purchased the 4-building, 34-unit Merritt Apartments in New Canaan. New Canaan Merritt Apartments LLC has dissolved, according to records on file with the Connecticut secretary of the state. ***

The Oak Street homeowner who had applied to the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval to rebuild the multi-family structure there has since pulled that application, Planning & Zoning Commission members said at their most recent meeting.

Organizers Suspend Pop Up Park after Some Merchants Raise Concerns

The committee that developed, managed and advocated on behalf of the Pop Up Park downtown—recently securing approval to keep it in place through the summer—is suspending those plans indefinitely after a group of merchants in town voiced opposition. According to a letter obtained by NewCanaanite.com that’s signed by 16 business owners downtown—most of them retailers, including Elm Street Books owner Susan Rein and Pimilico owner Jill Saunders (see full letter below, as well as those who added their names to it)—the Pop Up Park in occupying the final block of South Avenue at Elm Street obstructs traffic, blocks parking and displaces an important loading zone. While complimenting Pop Up Park Committee members for their passion and diligence, these merchants say, the park itself “hampers business” because its visitors do not patronize local shops and restaurants. “If it continues much longer, the small-town charm of New Canaan’s downtown is going to be overrun by big box chains just like many other towns in our area,” according to the letter, dated June 1. “The look of the Park does nothing to enhance the visual appeal of town,” the letter said.