The owners of Post 154 restaurant hope to open at the site of Westport's former main post office around the middle of October.
The latest downtown dining enterprise will succeed Westport's main postal branch, which closed in December 2011 at 154 Post Road East. The USPS, which had occupied the downtown building since the early 1930s, has since relocated its local branch to the Playhouse Square shopping center farther east on Post Road East.
The faÃ§ade of the mid-1930s post office building was left largely intact and a patio has been added that fronts onto Bay Street.
Bruce Beinfield, a Westport native whose Norwalk-based architectural firm has designed several area restaurants, handled some of the exterior renovations.
"Our attitude was one of being respectful to the architecture of the building," Beinfield said. "It was a classic, vintage 1936 building. Having grown up in Westport, it's a place that has a lot of fond memories for a lot of Westport people, so we wanted to be sensitive to the underlying architecture."
The restaurant will have a 4,650-square-foot main floor and a 4,200-square-foot lower level that will be used as banquet rooms for private receptions and parties. The restaurant will have 40 to 50 employees.
The interior will have wood floors and seat 268 people. A train station-style clock will hang prominently in the middle of the restaurant.
Chef Alex Rosado will oversee the menu at Post 154. Rosado recently served as executive chef of Little Palm Island in Little Torch Key, Fla., from 2009-12.
"It will be world-class, creative cuisine. Very elegant and flavorful. A little bit of everything," Rosado said of the planned menu.