City Notes
Stewart’s opens state’s first All American Grill on Sawmill Rd.

Stewart’s opens state’s first All American Grill in city

WEST HAVEN, April 24, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi cuts the ribbon Monday with Stewart’s All American President Jim LaGanke, third from right, to celebrate the ceremonial opening of Stewart’s All American Grill at 340 Sawmill Road.

Joining them are, from front left, Ben LeFebvre, Stewart’s manager of technological operations; property owner Lorraine Tartaglia of Tartaglia Commercial Properties; state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven; city Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore; property owner Isabel Tartaglia of Tartaglia Commercial Properties; Bill Rose, Stewart’s director of business development; Councilwoman Tracy A. Morrissey, D-8; and Gerry Pelissier, Stewart’s vice president of franchise development and marketing.

The ribbon-cutting was also attended by state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, and City Council Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large.

The new restaurant — Stewart’s first full-service eatery in Connecticut — officially opened its doors Friday in the former site of Friendly’s restaurant and, more recently, A-1 Diner.

The freshly renovated, 4,300-square-foot building features a decor and theme from a bygone era, including black-and-white photos of old Savin Rock amusement park that were donated by city resident Dan Shine, a notable historian and photographer.

The company’s flagship restaurant, which also doubles as its national franchise training center, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Stewart’s founder Frank Stewart opened his first namesake restaurant in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1924.

Now a popular restaurant chain with dozens of locations primarily in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the company, based in Rutherford, N.J., is known for serving up old-fashioned milkshakes and ice-cream sodas, such as its signature root beer floats, along with scrumptious burgers, hot dogs and fries.

The West Haven location, just off Exit 42 of Interstate 95, is next to a newer plaza of businesses on the former site of American Steakhouse that include a Starbucks, an Aspen Dental and a Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The plaza, at 354 Sawmill Road, is also owned by Tartaglia Commercial Properties, a company owned by the Tartaglia family, which had owned the steakhouse.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Little Picassos

Little Picassos

WEST HAVEN, April 24, 2018 — Participants of the Department of Parks and Recreation’s “painting party” program create works of art during school vacation Wednesday at Park-Rec’s Painter Park office. Painting supplies were provided for the budding artists — 20 in all, ages 5 and older — by Picasso Parties, 944 Ocean Ave. (City Photo/Diane Dietman)

Chiquita Queen opens in royal fashion on Sawmill Rd.

Chiquita Queen opens in royal fashion on Sawmill Rd.

WEST HAVEN, April 24, 2018 — Louis P. Esposito Jr., executive assistant to Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, cuts the ribbon April 13 with Chiquita Queen owner Martha Lojano, accompanied by her son Kenny Buestan, to mark the ceremonial opening of the new Ecuadorian and Mexican restaurant at 215 Sawmill Road, formerly West Haven Pizza Palace.

Joining the celebration are, from left, chef Raphael Rodriguez-Moran; state Rep. Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven; city Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli; city Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore; state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven; Lojano’s sons Carlos and Joey Buestan; and mayoral adviser Tom McCarthy, with his son, Tom.

In recognition of the special occasion, Borer presented Lojano with a General Assembly citation on behalf of the city’s delegation.

The sit-down and takeout restaurant, housed in the Sawmill Shopping Plaza across from police headquarters, specializes in authentic Ecuadorian and Mexican dishes, such as burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos and tortas.

Open seven days a week, Chiquita Queen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Knights of Columbus raises $750 for special needs program

K. of C. raises $750 for special needs program

WEST HAVEN, April 24, 2018 — Knights of Columbus member Phil Piskura presents a $750 check on behalf of fellow Knights to West Haven Youth and Family Services Director Robert S. Morton, fifth from left, on April 10 at St. John Vianney Church for the West Haven Interagency Network for Children’s program for special needs children.

From left, Knights Abe Grillo, Vic Liuzzo, Rob Vets and Emil Belous; West Haven Parent Support Group Chair Viola Waldo; and Knights Paul Bauer, Bill Armour and Phil King.

The money was raised at the fraternal organization’s recent Tootsie Roll drive.

Proceeds from the sales of Tootsie Rolls and other candy are donated by the Knights to programs that aim to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, said Morton, director of WHINC.

(City Photo)

Team Tom raising money for MS Walk April 29

Team Tom raising money for MS Walk on April 29 at Savin Rock

WEST HAVEN, March 28, 2018 — Tom Conroy, a program coordinator at the Department of Parks and Recreation, is seeking donations for his team, Team Tom, for the upcoming walk for multiple sclerosis.

The annual Connecticut MS Walk is set for 10 a.m. April 29 at the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St. Registration starts at 9 a.m.

The 2- or 5-mile route runs in part along the Savin Rock beach walk.

Conroy, 63, was diagnosed 10 years ago with MS, a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system.

To raise money for MS research, Team Tom is selling tie-dye T-shirts for $20. To buy a tee, visit Park-Rec’s Painter Park office, 190 Kelsey Ave., or call Conroy at 203-937-3651.

Team Tom has collected about $40,000 for the cause since 2009.

To make a donation or become a team member, go to

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