Joey's by the Shore concessions closes

WESTPORT — After an apparent rent dispute with the town, Joey’s by the Shore will no longer be operating at several locations throughout Westport “effective immediately,” according to town officials.

Longtime owner Joey Romeo operated concessions at Compo Beach, Longshore Pavilion and the Longshore Halfway House.

“Regrettably, Mr. Romeo has advised us that he will not pay the full rent due in 2019 under his lease, nor is he willing to fulfill his remaining three years under the lease,” Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava said in a news release Wednesday. “We have made every effort to negotiate mutually acceptable terms, but we have not reached an agreement with him.”

First Selectman Jim Marpe stated, “We appreciate the many years of service Joey has provided to the community, especially at Compo Beach, providing food for our beachgoers and jobs for some of our young adults. We will be working to get a new concessionaire in place to meet the needs of our residents and users.”

“After 32 years serving the community, we were unable to come to an agreement with the Town of Westport to continue operating our concessions at Compo Beach, the Longshore Pavilion, and the halfway house on the golf course,” Romeo said in a statement following the announcement.

“It has been a pleasure to serve all of our customers for all these years. It has also been a joy to watch generations grow up in town. I have absolutely loved employing and mentoring so many students and young people. All have gone on to become productive adults,” he added.

“Running Joey’s has been the highlights of my life. I will miss it, and all of you,” Romeo said. “I wish everyone the best and I look forward to seeing our beloved customers, employees, and friends around town.”

Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Rick Giunta declined to comment.