WESTPORT, Conn. -- Darien's Espresso NEAT is expanding to a new Westport location, which will offer coffee during the day and cocktails at night.
NEAT is set to open up in August at 6 Wilton Road in Westport. The building, located in National Hall, is the site of the old fire station.
The new spot is a joint venture between Rachel Haughey, owner of Espresso NEAT, and Experience Hospitality Group. Experience Hospitality Managing Director Kevin Daniel Lalumiere said he and Experience owner Bobby Werhane had planned on opening a cocktail bar in the location when they learned of Haughey's intentions to expand her Darien location.
"Bobby and I were fans of her coffee shop in Darien," Lalumiere said. Haughey shared a similar attention to detail and excellence that Experience sought to bring to its cocktail bar, he said. "We saw a fantastic opportunity to combine them into one concept."
During the day, NEAT will feature a wide selection of coffees and espressos, with all coffee roasted in-house. NEAT will also serve breakfast and lunch. During the evening, the focus will be on artisanal cocktails, international wines and craft beers, as well as new spins on traditional bar food.
Experience Hospitality will also be opening an Italian restaurant nearby this September. Many businesses such as Bar Taco are beginning to find success in the area, and NEAT will help transform the area into a hub of activity, Lalumiere said.
"This National Hall campus is undergoing a cool revitalization, and we're happy to be a part of that," he said.
Lalumiere hopes that NEAT will be more of a destination than a place one simply stops by to pick up a morning cup of coffee. The owners are planning on hosting live music performances by local artists to create a fun and friendly atmosphere. The building also has an adjacent grass courtyard, which NEAT plans to use for seasonal events.
Those who don't know too much about coffee or cocktails will also find a place where they can learn more.
"We want to be approachable, and happy to educate people and help them challenge their traditional notions of coffee and cocktails," Lalumiere said. He said they may offer classes, similar to how Espresso NEAT in Darien offers education on home brewing, coffee production and tasting.
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