WESTPORT, Conn. — Friday will be a big day at Bedford Square in Westport, with the opening of the first store and restaurant at the huge downtown development project.
Amis Trattoria and Anthropologie will take be taking over a familiar front-and-center spot as anchors in the 80,000-square-foot development on the Post Road East.
Jeff Benjamin, a partner with Amis Trattoria and a founder of URBN Inc. — the parent company of Amis — said he chose to open near Anthropologie because his restaurant brand works well with the trendy clothing store.
“We have good synergy with Anthropologie. We like to co-brand when we can," he said.
Ames Trattoria dishes up classic Roman food. This is the second location of Ames; the first location opened six years ago in Philadelphia.
“We source from local farm ingredients. We do our best to make sure, from both a food and a service standpoint, that we remain committed to the authenticity of Italian culture. We are committed to keeping the brand but also embracing any community we go into," Benjamin said.
Anthropologie — which is relocating to much larger digs in Bedford Square from 1365 Post Road E. — sells womenswear, shoes, accessories and home decor items.
The development was formerly occupied by the Westport Weston YMCA, which built a new home at 14 Allen Raymond Lane off the Merritt Parkway.
Dan Zelson, principal at Charter Realty and Development in Westport — which owns the Bedford Square Development — said he was thrilled about the new stores.
"This has been a 10-year process that's coming to a culmination later this week. We are very excited for Westport and for the project itself," he said.
Zelson said that aside from the two new stores opening Friday, the "balance is 40,000 square feet of additional retail, a small amount of office space and then 24 residential units."
He did not yet reveal what will be occupying the new space, which will start opening in June or July.
“This will be announced in the next month or so," he said.