When Old Meets New Something Beautiful Happens

Hello, and Happy Friday, MARtians!!

Yesterday was a big deal for the MARTV team and me. As you know, we are filming the second season of “Life on Mar’s: The Home Makeover Show.” In order to bring you compelling content, we seek out adventures to mix in with the fabulous transformations. This time our excursion was all about the restoration and preservation of the old Westport CT YMCA building – officially called the 1928 Bedford Building–in fact, the restaurant space was also my old gym! I’ll never forget working out there as a kid with my name being blared throughout the P.A. system. “Maaaar!Your mother is calling!”

The brand new Bedford Square is truly phenomenal. Kudos to David Waldman who managed this project to perfection. Westport can now enjoy 70,000 square feet of new retail space, 24 residential apartments, office space and over 100 underground parking spaces. Will that be enough for this incredible center?I also was able to speak with Mark Herter from Centerbrook Architects and Planners, the lead architect on the entire project. He had some great advice whenever renovating something historic and worthy of preservation – “Go slowly.” I like that mentality. Take your time and noodle out the process. That’s good advice for a lot of things in life.

I started out filming in the brand new trattoria, Amis, a Vetri Family restaurant affiliated with Anthropologie & Co, which is owned by Urban Outfitters Inc.The cuisine is Roman/Italian style. I was able to speak with the chef Brad Spence, who gave me some delectable samples of fresh, homemade pasta, beautifully cured meats, juicy and sumptuous porketta and crusty, fragrant bread. Wow! The look of the place really feels like an honest nod to the past with only the most appropriate and necessary changes to make the restaurant bright, airy and super functional. I loved everything and cannot wait to go back.

Anthropologie Westport is phenomenal with over 40,000 square feet of glorious retail space. The special sneak preview opening was invitation only, but you know me, I was invited! I had a blast wandering and wondering around. The suitcase wall is something to behold! (You gotta check it out!) There were live music, delightful cocktails and wine being passed around liberally along with tasty nibbles too. So much fun. So many gorgeous things to see and put on my wish list. And so many elements new to Westport–like custom furniture, bridal, and more.

I’m happy that this building, that meant so much to me growing up, was restored so lovingly into Westport’s newest gem. I especially liked finding elements of the old building, gym, pool area and more cleverly incorporated–it was fun spotting them. Thank you to everyone at the restaurant for the filming access and for your hard work; stay tuned to MARTV to see exactly what happened. Thanks to my hardworking crew: Chris Panton, Paul Mitchell, Lauren Bove and Eddie Nowicki. Your professionalism and talent make my job a pleasure.

Keep it Casual!