A brightly colored bird has swooped into the Saugatuck dining scene.
"We're eclectic and unpretentious and extremely proud of it," Lubarsky said Wednesday during a break from painting at the Parrot. "We are going to give people an experience through art, sound and through your palate."
The Blu Parrot is scheduled to open in late September or early October in an approximately 3,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Jasmine, an Asian cuisine restaurant that closed in 2010. Its arrival reflects the continued resurgence of the Saugatuck dining scene, which has welcomed during the last year several popular new restaurants, such as Tarry Lodge Enoteca Pizzeria on Charles Street and The Whelk on Riverside Avenue.
Complementing the restaurant's "eclectic" fare, Lubarsky said he plans to prominently showcase local artists at the Blu Parrot. Painted and printed works from the likes of Miggs Burroughs and Staples High School students, as well as pieces from past masters -- including Lubarsky's late mother -- will line the Parrot's walls.
The restaurant -- which will seat about 160 patrons -- will also continue the Georgetown Saloon's tradition of live music. Lubarsky plans a 200-square-foot stage that will feature blues, rock, jazz, gospel and possibly swing acts. The Parrot will also host a number of "open mic" nights, including several showcases for local teenage musicians each year .
Adjacent to the stage, Lubarsky plans to install a 200-square-foot dance floor with "full theatrical lighting." He also intends to include a green room at the Parrot to accommodate performers.
At 23, Lubarsky opened the Georgetown Saloon in 1978. He owned the restaurant until 2004; the saloon closed earlier this year. In the 1980s, Lubarsky also owned two other restaurants -- Appaloosa in South Norwalk in a space now occupied by the Black Bear on Washington Street and Georgetown Saloon South in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Lubarsky's Saugatuck roots date to 1969, when he got his start as a 15-year-old busboy at Mario's Place on Railroad Place.
"I just felt like now is the right time to come back to Westport," Lubarsky said. "It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. The stars lined up."
But what about the restaurant's name?
"The reason it's called the Blu Parrot has to do with my deceased brother, Drew," Lubarsky explained. "In 1983, he designed a piece of stained glass with a blue parrot out in San Francisco and had a stained-glass artist make the piece.
"Five weeks ago, I'm at home in Westport and this piece of stained glass is sitting in a picture window in the house. I had wanted to look at this space (at 60 Charles St.), but there were all sorts of people involved trying to rent it or buy it.
"I then get a call from (real estate agent) Skip Lane, saying, `You still want to look at that?' I said, `Yeah.' And he said, `Come on.' I no sooner hung the phone up -- and it was a cloudy day -- then the sun came down and went right through the parrot in the window.
"I've had other restaurants, and one of the biggest decisions is what do you name it. I didn't have to worry this time. My brother just told me, it's called the Blue Parrot."
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