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Westport OKs Two New Pop-Up Cafes For Downtown

Bobby Q's on Main Street in Westport will soon open a pop-up cafe outside the restaurant, following approval from the Board of Selectmen. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
Cru, a new restaurant under construction below The Gap at 125 Main St., was approved to open a 24-seat pop-up cafe. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. — Two more street cafes will soon sprout in downtown Westport. Bobby Q’s on Main Street and Cru, a new restaurant under construction at 125 Main St ., gained unanimous approval from the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday to open pop-up cafes.

These cafes will join existing ones outside Acqua Ristorante in Parker Harding Plaza and La Villa Trattoria on Bay Street.

“I think the pop-ups have been enormously successful,” Selectwoman Shelly Kassen said. “They make downtown far more interesting.”

Last March, the town approved a policy that allows restaurants and businesses to build pop-up cafes and seating along certain one-way streets. Unlike traditional outdoor dining areas that are typically located on a sidewalk outside a restaurant, pop-up cafes are created in converted curbside parking spots.

Bob LeRose, owner of Bobby Q’s, said the pop-up outside his restaurant — located at 42 Main St. — will take up two vertical parking spaces and have a total of 20 or 22 seats.

LeRose hopes to debut the cafe next Thursday night, just in time for the Downtown Merchant Association’s Art About Town street party.

“We’re excited about it,” LeRose told The Westport Daily Voice. “For the past few years, customers have been asking us to do outdoor dining, so here it is. I think it’s a step in the right direction for Main Street.”

In addition to drawing people to the downtown area, Kassen said she believes an added bonus of having a pop-up cafe on Main Street is that it will force people to drive slower.

The pop-up outside Cru will take up three parking spaces in Parker Harding Plaza and seat 24, Steve Prokop, one of the restaurant’s owners, told the selectmen.

Under the pop-up policy, the cafes are allowed from April 1 to Nov. 1.

Cru is slated to open in about three weeks, said Prokop, who along with Todd Rose, owns Cuvée , a popular lounge/restaurant in West Hartford.

Cru will offer a variety of American and international cuisine and will be reminiscent of a speakeasy, Prokop said. It will also have a large bar seating about 30 people, and about 70 seats in the dining room.

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