Mike “Wolfie” Connors, beloved Black Duck Cafe bartender, dead at 58
Updated 11:15 am, Thursday, February 23, 2017
WESTPORT — Mike Connors, a beloved bartender who served up good times and brews for over three decades in Westport, died Feb. 15 in Stratford. He was 58.
The cause was a heart attack, said his longtime friend and co-worker from the Black Duck Café, Martin O’Grady.
In a career spanning three decades, Connors was known in Westport for his time behind the bar at the Black Duck Café where he was as constant source of fun and laughter. He worked at the Black Duck Café from 1981 until 2015 when he moved to Bogey’s Grille & Tap Room and was also working brunch at Partner’s Café & Pizzeria, both in Norwalk.
Connors, also known as "Wolfie" was a standout football player at Staples High School in the late 1970s and went on to play collegiately at Syracuse University. He also served as an assistant football coach at Staples.
He leaves behind a wife, Kelly, and his three step-children Robert, Amanda and Lindsay.
O’Grady recommended Connors for the job at the Black Duck Café back in 1981 to owner Pete Aitkin.
"I told Pete Aitkin, the owner, you gotta hire this guy because he was just one of those guys who would literally walk in the room and everyone would smile," O’Grady said.
O’Grady recalled Connors as a great friend and co-worker whom he could count on.
"He and I worked together every Friday night for 25 years. In the 1980s it was like the wild west. We would land on people and drag em out when they were fighting if we had to. And he was a nice guy to have next to me. It’s like losing a brother," O’Grady said.
Jodi Soto, a waitress who has worked at the Black Duck Café for over 20 years with Connors, said she missed him dearly as she was tearing up.
"That man always had a smile on his face kindest guy you’d ever want to know and would take the shirt off his back for you. Always knew your name what you drank how you liked things," Soto said.
Chip Stephens, who remembers Connors as a great bartender and football coach for his son, Charlie, said, "I don’t think anybody has anything poor to say about Wolfie. His last comment on his Facebook, the day before he passed, was him telling his wife that he loved her."