by Andrew Dominick
With all the holiday hoopla, no one ever forgets about the NFL. If you’re a big football fan, you will surely sneak out on your family this weekend to catch a game. After all, there are some huge games coming up that have bragging rights and playoff implications on the line.
One rivalry game this weekend is the Giants at Jets for New York supremacy, even with both teams possibly being out of the playoffs, fans of either team want at least that win if nothing else. Will the Cowboys hang on to keep a playoff spot? Or will the Eagles run the table and find a way to get in?
Here are some good sports bars in the area to kick back and watch some football.
Bradford’s Grill & Tavern
83 Bedford Street
Stamford, CT 06901
15 North Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Bradford’s Grill & Tavern is the spot to be on football days, or any sports day. They have so many flat screens, you’re sure to lose count, with every game showing. But for local favorites like the Patriots, Giants, and Jets, those games will be on the bigger screens. Don’t be afraid to take a break during halftime to play darts or a video game while you wait for more hard hitting NFL action. Bradford’s has a good bar food menu that is perfect for snacking and watching your team. They also feature many different sandwiches and wraps, salads, and pizza, as well as a better than average beer selection. P.S., the wings are good too.
Black Bear Saloon
80 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
And many other locations
With $.50 wings, great beer specials, and football on a bunch of televisions scattered about (even the booths have private little HDTVs), you can never go wrong with hanging out at Black Bear on “gameday.” With a large menu, you should be able to find something that will tempt your taste buds and match up with a cold one. Black Bear is large enough to actually get up and walk around and meet some new friends because you like the same team, or get into a friendly debate with a fan that likes a rival team.
Bobby V’s Sports Gallery Café
225 Main Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Even though Bobby Valentine is the new manager of the Red Sox, Yankee fans can look past that since it is football season. Bobby V’s is one of the real sports bars in the area and looks the way a sports bar is supposed to look. From the cards under the glass part of the tables to the signed jerseys and other memorabilia hanging about, this is where a sports fan wants to be. Heck, even the menu has items named after athletes or with some type of sport reference in them.
Southport Brewing Company
2600 Post Road
Southport, CT 06890
Southport Brewing Company may not be your typical sports bar, but they do show a couple different games. You can always find a group of fans gathered in the bar area to watch some football. The attraction at SBC is that it is an actual brewery, and yes, they make their own beer with plenty of different brews available. What separates SBC from most places, their food is better than good. Try the brick oven pizza, trust me.
Tavern on 7 (Norwalk)- Not a full blown sports bar but their wings rock the house, especially the honey teriyaki version, and really good fish and chips. They also feature a decent enough beer menu with a few cool imports and they always have a Brooklyn beer on tap. If they repeat last year’s Super Bowl bash, their buffet is well worth it with all the wings, ribs, pasta, chicken marsala, and nachos you can handle.
East Side Café (Norwalk)- I might take some heat for this one, but they have a few big TVs and good beer specials. Talking about the food is just not worth it.
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by Andrew Dominick
If you take a stroll down Washington Street in SoNo and gaze through the glass of a certain store, your eyes cannot help the mesmerizing feeling that your brain will soon receive. All kinds of patterns, checkered, plaid, leopard spots, striped, and army fatigued, will stand out. Soon after, the pastel pinks, greens, and blues will draw you in, the chandeliers and red, orange, and green Christmas trees will assist.
This store that came out of nowhere, just in time for your holiday shopping, is the Scout Pop-Up Store. Scout sells bags, all types of bags, in many different colors, patterns, sizes, and styles. Messengers, totes, duffels, backpacks, beach bags, shoulder bags, cooler bags, you name it, Scout has it.
The bags at Scout are fashionable without being as expensive as a designer brand. “The best thing about Scout is that they are affordable and great looking all at once,” said Scout Pop-Up Store owner Kate Corridan. “Our most expensive bag in the store is only $50.”
Bags for a shopping trip in the city, like Scout’s Daytripper ($35), or their bestseller, perfect for that weekend trip, appropriately named the Weekender ($45), make great gifts for that person on the go.
The recently opened pop-up shop is open for business until the end of the month to help you with your holiday gift list. Be sure to check out the store this Sunday, December 18, from 12-2, as the store will host a special holiday event. The event will feature a raffle, an appearance by Santa, cupcakes to snack on, and if that is not enough, the first 10 people through the door will receive a free gift. “The Short and Sweet Cupcake truck will be parked in front of the store featuring a Scout inspired cupcake. Chocolate cake with pink peppermint frosting,” Corridan said. “Stop by, Santa will be here to take pictures with the kids, have a cupcake, and buy some Scout.”
Scout Pop-Up Store
136 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
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- Written by Andrew Dominick
Celebrity sightings in Connecticut! Mohegan Sun’s newest, and hippest eatery, Ballo Italian Restaurant & Social Club, hosted a few big names last night that were on hand to celebrate the casino’s 15th anniversary.
Food Network star and owner of Bar Americain at the casino, Bobby Flay, stopped by Ballo to sample some of the menu. Chef Flay sipped on an aperol spritz cocktail and snacked on a sausage pizza. Later, he sampled the chicken parmagiana, linguine with clams, those delicious pork meatballs, and spaghetti pomodoro.
As if one celebrity wasn’t enough, around 11 p.m., Susan Lucci and Regis Philbin, with eight guests in tow, had dinner in one of Ballo’s private dining areas. Philbin enjoyed a cosmopolitan and Lucci a Perrier Jouet. For dinner they enjoyed an antipasto appetizer with fresh proscuitto de parma.
Ballo is sure to have many more celeb sightings, and who knows, you might be lucky enough to run into one of your favorite stars. If you’re in Norwalk with nothing going on for the evening, it’s time to get up and party! Make the mini roadtrip to celebrate at Mohegan Sun and be sure to have dinner at Ballo while you’re there.
Read more about Norwalk by visiting: www.hamlethub.com/norwalk
Lighthouse builders: start your minds racing. Entry forms are being accepted now for The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 10th annual “Festival of Lighthouses Contest,” which awards an Aquarium Family Membership for each accepted entry and $3,300 in prizes, including $1,500 for first place.
“To mark our milestone 10th year for the contest, we are increasing the prize awards by 50 percent,” said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director. “That’s only fitting because the effort that our lighthouse builders have put into their entries has certainly increased over the years. Many of the lighthouses are incredible works of art and craftsmanship.” The special exhibit will place 24 lighthouses throughout the aquarium during the holiday season and beyond: Nov. 12, 2011, through Jan. 16, 2012. Aquarium visitors will follow these hand-crafted beacons through the galleries and then may cast a vote for their favorite.
The builder of the lighthouse with the most votes will receive $1,500 at an awards ceremony on Jan. 19. Other prizes to be awarded are: $750 for second, $375 for third; $300 for fourth; $225 for fifth; and $150 for sixth. To qualify, lighthouses must be 3 to 6 feet tall and have a working light – beyond that, it’s up to the creators’ imaginations. Previous years’ entries have been crafted out of about every material imaginable, from the expected – wood, metal, stone, papier mache, plastic and glass – to the unexpected – paper, string, sea glass, candy, furnace filters, trash and even paper clips. (Prohibited are animal remains, including shells.) Many past entries have been modeled after real lighthouses. But others have ranged from the highly artistic to the comically imaginative to the puzzlingly abstract.
Entry forms are being accepted until Oct. 21. (The number of entries is limited, so it’s important to submit entry forms as soon as possible. After 24 entries are received, all subsequent entrants will be placed on a waiting list.)
Lighthouses must be delivered to the Aquarium between Nov. 4 & 7.
For a “Festival of Lighthouses” entry form and a copy of the Official Rules, visit www.maritimeaquarium.org or call The Maritime Aquarium at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2248.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk inspires people of all ages to appreciate Long Island Sound and protect it for future generations. A vibrant and entertaining learning environment, it achieves this goal through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.
The Maritime Aquarium receives support from the State of Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
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The Soccer Club of Ridgefield (“SCOR”) is planning its 28th Annual Labor Day Warm-Up Tournament for September 3rd and 4th this year. The tournament is sanctioned by the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) and is open to boys and girls teams in age groups U-9 through U-14.
SCOR expects to host more than 150 games for teams from throughout the region over the two day event. Labor Day, September 5th, is reserved as a possible rain date. Each team will be scheduled for four games and awards will be given for first place in each division for ages U-11 through U-14. U-9 and U-10 teams will be given participation awards.
The registration deadline is August 15th, but space is limited so interested coaches and managers are encouraged to register soon. For more information or to register your team go to: www.scor.org/scor2011t or contact the tournament directors at the email address below.
John Healy and Lori Hongach
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Written by John Hoctor
Connecticut rock and roll fans will be treated to the ultimate mid-summer’s night this Thursday night in a benefit concert at The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts by Bay Area veteran rockers, The Doobie Brothers.
Two of the undaunted original member “brothers” have been together since the late sixties – the good ole’ days of the Moby Grape and Fillmores. Originally from San Jose, this years model of Doobie’s tour will feature both the unparalleled classics – such as “Listen to the Music”, “Black Water”, and “What a Fool Believes” – to new hits and instant classics from their HOR Records release aptly titled World Gone Crazy that works the gambit of aggressive and emotional performances, evocative storytelling, unapologetic attitude and world class musicianship.
But do not come out Thursday night expecting sometime member and white soul singer Michael Macdonald–he went solo 30 years ago.
Road warriors and 1970 (the year) founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, along with 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack, the Doobies have perfectly honored the band’s legacy with an offering that grows in unexpected new directions.
Like rock contemporaries Grand Funk sang in 1973, they are the archetypal American Band—read hard working journeymen.
It’s been more than two decades and The Doobie Brothers rock on. “The Doobies have always been about playing live,” Johnston says. The Doobie Brothers’ 2011 World Gone Crazy tour is taking them coast to coast and their highly anticipated appearance at The Levitt offers local fans to see them up close and personal.
The ‘Doobie’ concert is being sponsored by Poland Spring and Honda of Westport and will continue to underwrite the open-air Levitt Pavilion’s 38th Summer Season. The non-profit, cultural epicenter provides Westporters more than 50 nights of quality free music and performance under the stars. To learn more about The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, click here.
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is dedicated to providing FREE and abundant access to the performing arts, presenting a dynamic constellation of established and emerging artists, and preserving a beautiful outdoor space where people of all ages and backgrounds are always welcome to enjoy the arts, enjoy nature, and enjoy each other. The Friends of the Levitt Pavilion, Inc., d/b/a The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
For some people, including those in the Norwalk community, hunger isn’t satisfied so quickly and it becomes a day-to-day struggle. The Rowayton Library is dedicated to helping the community, and is once again partnering with AlphaGraphics, the print, graphics and marketing communications provider located in Norwalk, in “AlphaGraphics Fights Hunger campaign.” The Campaign is collecting non-perishable foods for the Christian Community Action, Norwalk (CCA).
To help in the goal, The Rowayton Library is trying to collect 500 pounds of jars of Peanut Butter and Jelly beginning June 1st through July 31st.
The Rowayton Library has chosen to collect jars of peanut butter and jelly because it is the one food combination enjoyed by young, and not so young, and keeps well. The Library is started the collection in June because so many families who rely on “school lunch” will have to look elsewhere during the summer months. And food pantries, homeless shelters and other charities needing food typically, receive donations during the winter holidays (November and December). By June and July, their pantries are low. The timing of this campaign is the right help at the right time for community organizations in need.
Please consider making a donation of a jar or two of PB&J at the Rowayton Library. For more information about AlphaGraphics in Norwalk or about its participation in the “AlphaGraphics Hunger Campaign,” please contact Miles Tullo at 203-847-8884.
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By Terri Garlick
On Sundays, July 10, 17, 24, and 31 from 11 am to 4 pm, the Westport-Weston Y is offering Summer Sundays at Family Y’s Mahackeno Outdoor Center for the entire family. This is a great opportunity to spend precious family time in one of Connecticut’s best outdoor, recreational spaces. The Mahackeno complex offers an outdoor swimming pool, ball courts, playing fields, children’s games, an archery range, a rock climbing wall, kayaking and canoeing, cookout facilities and much more. Westport-Weston Y member families get in free, and non-member families pay just $20.00. Camp Mahackeno is located at 14 Sunny Lane near the Merritt Parkway.
Camp Mahackeno is part of Westport, Connecticut history. More than 300 years ago, the Indian Sachem Mahackemo (spelled with an m) used the property as a summer lodge for himself and his tribe. In 1938, Camp Mahackeno began as a “stay at home camp” for boys. The original camp was a rugged place with some 15 small cottages and no running water. Mahackeno became a day camp for girls and boys in 1969. Today, the day camp for boys and girls continues, and the Westport-Weston Y’s mission is to create a safe environment where campers can have fun and feel good about themselves while making new friends and discovering the world around them.
For more information, contact Gerald Rush at (203) 226-8981 or email@example.com.
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Meet the Blogger:
Andrew Dominick lives in Norwalk, Connecticut and writes in, around, and beyond Fairfield County. He has written for The Daily Norwalk, CBS Connecticut, CTBites, and has fun writing food reviews for a blog with his two friends titled Food Dudes which can be found on Blogger. Along with having BA in Journalism from the University of Bridgeport, Andrew is an avid martial artist and part-time instructor with a black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. Being die-hard sports fan (Go Yankees!), a lover of night life, a self-proclaimed movie nerd, and with his passion for eating good food, Andrew knows a little something about everything.
Note: The blog is written by a reader and is not edited by the Connecticut Media Group. The blogger is solely responsible for content.