Did You Hear … ?

The conspicuous commercial space located at a corner of Elm Street and South Avenue, long occupied by Sallea Antiques, will not be vacant for long after that shop closes its doors in the coming weeks. Heather Gaudio Fine Art, for four years located a bit further down South Avenue, is set to move in as early as September. “We’re incredibly excited,” owner Heather Gaudio told NewCanaanite.com. “I think it’s an amazing space.” The longtime Sallea space offers Gaudio more operational space (for example, packaging), and more storage, including for wine to be used at a grand opening party that likely will come in October. Stay tuned.

Town Officials Flag Size, Style of Antiques Store’s ‘Going Out of Business’ Sale Signs

Town officials say the long-established antiques store at the corner of South Avenue and Elm Street that is going out of business has gone through two iterations of signage announcing its closing sale after early versions caused consternation for some. Sallea Antiques, whose owner is retiring, had “basically papered its windows” with hot pink and neon green signs initially, according to Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman John Goodwin. “And the pushback to that is, if I’m a merchant and somebody is across the street from me or next door to me, and [the signs] look like it’s a name-your-discount Dollar General ‘going out of business’ type thing, and a lot of people just think it doesn’t look very good,” Goodwin said Tuesday at a regular P&Z meeting, held in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center. Town Planner Steve Kleppin, who doubles as the department’s zoning enforcement officer, said he would be willing to take yet another look at the shop’s signage, through “to be quite honest, I have zero enforcement power,” he said. “Because they’re going out of business,” he said.

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.

Did You Hear … ?

To help promote the 2015 Books, Blues, and BBQ party to benefit the New Canaan Library, the event’s committee members are encouraging residents to post on the library’s Facebook page photos of themselves wearing a favorite cowboy hat. “Over the years, cowboy attire has become associated with this important fundraising event,” Holly Parmelee, committee co-chairperson, said in a press release. “It is common that party-goers come decked out in cowboy hats and boots. So we thought it would be fun to encourage community members to show their support for the library and the event by posting a photo of themselves wearing their favorite cowboy hat.” See the gallery above for some familiar faces around town that are already participating. ***

Some disturbing news here: We’re hearing that some residents of Spring Water Lane last Wednesday discovered ‘#WhiteLivesMatter’ flyers, in Zip-loc bags and weighed down with rocks, on top of their mailboxes.