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Christie’s Country Store announces closing Allie D'Angelo '20

Christie’s Country Store (Christie’s) will close in one month due to high rent, taxes and codes created by the Planning and Zoning Department and the Health Department.

Millie Connors ’20, a former resident near the 161 Cross Highway establishment, expressed her sadness that Christie’s will close.

“We [My family] used to live nearby and would walk there often after school,” Connors said. “The people were friendly and it was a welcoming atmosphere.”

John Hooper, owner of Christie’s for nine years, explained how because of each of the Department’s codes, the limit on the number of allowed customers could not keep the store open.

“It’s time to do something else, we literally started as a fruit business, had a farmer’s market and just selling a couple of things,” Hooper said. “I had a vision of doing brunches here, dinners here [..] and unfortunately because of state law, we can’t do that sort of thing because of our septic system.”

According to Dan Woog's Blog, the Planning and Zoning Department and Health Department limited the establishment to only have nine tables, as the store, located in a residential zone, has a non-conforming use.

“If you look around here, there are only three tables and nine chairs [...] that’s legally what you’re allowed to do,” Hooper explained.

Originally opened in 1926 by Christie Masiello, Hooper purchased the store in 2009 due to growing up in Westport, Connecticut and his close ties with the establishment.

(above) Christie's Country Store only contains nine tables to follow guidelines implemented by the Planning and Zoning Department and Health Department. Due to the non-conforming use of the establishment, only a limited number of customers may eat inside the store.

“When Christie’s was going sideways, I was semi-retired and wanted to see if I could turn it around,” Hooper said.

David, a worker at Christie’s for three months, noted the establishment’s popularity among students in Westport.

“I know a lot of high school and middle school [students] come here after school and hang out,” he said.

Hooper explained some possible alternatives to continue running the business.

“If I was going to keep the place, I would have someone else run it and do it,” Hooper explained, “and you need revenue to do that.”

Credits:

Photos by Allie D'Angelo '20

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