WESTPORT — Southerner Melissa Gorman said she began looking for a place to house a new restaurant three years ago, but couldn’t find the right spot until she happened upon a small location in Westport last year.

“This came about and I was blown away — I couldn’t believe this space was available,” Gorman said.

Gorman has transformed the space, 190 Main St., into a beachy, yet upscale, restaurant and bar. The aptly titled 190 Main opened for business in December.

A Weston resident, Gorman co-owns the restaurant with Sam Alang and said the space was inspired by her time growing up in Savannah, Ga., and the summers she spent managing a crab shack there.

Gorman said she was inspired to bring her Southern style up to Connecticut after her parents retired here and she followed suit.

Her restaurant fills a void in the Westport food scene, as there are not a lot of seafood restaurants in town, Gorman said. In addition to classic seafood, 190 Main offers many types of foods, including tapas, a large brunch menu, and her favorite dish — rice with sashimi.

More Information

190 Main

Lunch: Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Dinner: 4:30 p.m.

Sunday brunch: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Happy Hour: Weekdays, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.

Jamie Lindenbaum, a friend of Gorman’s, said she is excited about what 190 Main brings to Westport.

“First of all, it’s a cozy, much more seafood-y atmosphere. You feel like you’re on the water,” said Lindenbaum, a Westport resident. “There’s not really any place in Westport that offers the same thing they do. This has much more variety of seafood.

“People in Westport love it because it’s a beach community, but there’s not a lot of beachy restaurants,” she said. “There’s a lot of Italian and Asian restaurants — and they’re all good — but I feel like this offers something that a lot of people have been asking for.”

Although not a chef, Gorman knows her audience.

“I just want to appeal to everyone in town and people from out of town, people that would just like to come into a nice place and feel cozy, kind of at home, no pressure,” she said. “There’s no rush back and forth out the door, you can stay as long as you’d like, have a great meal, have a nice glass of wine, some Champagne, have a beer — relaxed.”

svaughan@hearstmedia

ct.com; @SophieCVaughan