After a 27-year run in Westport, the V Restaurant & Wine Bar at 1460 Post Road East closed last week.

But the owners of the erstwhile eatery are focusing their attention eastward on a new feature at one of their Fairfield dining properties.

"We were trying to negotiate a new 10-year lease (for V), but we couldn't come to terms with the landlord," said V co-owner Susan Dederick. "This was my first restaurant, and obviously this is a big disappointment to our employees and me."

Since its 25-year lease expired in late 2010, the Westport restaurant had operated on a month-to-month lease, Dederick said.

The closing of V follows the exit in April of a Munson's Chocolates outlet, which stood adjacent to V in the Greens Farms Plaza shopping center. That storefront remains vacant.

Dederick and V co-owner Bill Auer opened their Westport restaurant as the Pompano Grill in 1985.

They renamed it V Restaurant & Wine Bar in 1997. The restaurant seated about 100 patrons and employed about 30 workers.

"We'll try to place as many V employees as we can at our other restaurants," Dederick said.

Dederick and Auer also own Centro Ristorante and the Firehouse Deli in Fairfield, Centro Ristorante in Greenwich, as well as three New Canaan restaurants -- Gates Restaurant & Bar, Bistro Bonne Nuit and Tequila Mockingbird.

In Fairfield, a beer garden is scheduled to open at the Firehouse Deli in mid-July, Dederick said.

The beer garden will serve a number of brews, including draught beers, Dederick said.

Dederick and Auer do not have plans to open a new restaurant in Westport, Dederick said.

"We're very grateful for all the support we received through the years at V," Dederick added. "We loved it here in Westport."; 203-255-4561, ext. 118;