Buy Local, Buy Local, Buy Local!

Where are you shopping this Black Friday weekend? Let’s make an effort to support Bridgeport businesses. The other day Mayor Bill Finch highlighted several downtown small business owners including Gabby Fludd, owner of the Gumdrop Swap inside the Arcade Mall located at 1001 Main Street and Dave Schneider of historic Jimmy’s for hip clothes and footwear.

In addition, check out these places and more for gifts and stocking stuffers.

The Backstroke is Dr. Jennie Lynn’s wellness center at 181 State Street for chiropractic care, massage therapy as well as plenty of gift boutiques.

The city has an emerging arts community. Lots of great shows upcoming at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre including Gary Puckett, Jay and the Americans and Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night). Concerts make sweet holiday gifts. If you haven’t checked out the Bijou Theatre you haven’t lived! Top-rated independent films, live shows, concerts and a full bar at an amazing venue.

While you’re at it visit all the other stuff located in Phil Kuchma’s hot Bijou Square such as Bare, Two Boots, Épernay, the wine shop and more.

Want to buy one (or all) of my books? Go to Rainy Faye Bookstore at John and Broad.

Sports? Have we got that for you. Sound Tigers hockey at the Webster Bank Arena. Plenty of gift packages for the holidays.

How about a bed for your lover? Bob’s Discount Furniture, 815 Lafayette Boulevard.

Feel free to share your suggestions for all things holiday shopping in Bridgeport.



  1. Buy Local! It makes Cents!

    Once again the Mayor and Wake Up Little Snoozie are asleep at the switch. Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express, is tomorrow. OIB friend Miguel Tomasio of Taco Loco signed up for this national promotion. If you go to Taco Loco tomorrow and spend a minimum of $25.00, including gift cards, and use your Amex card, you will receive a $25.00 credit on your next Amex bill. For further details, please visit www or

    Paging Paul Timpanelli???

  2. And there I was, fighting impossible traffic driving up Route 25 in Monroe last week, trying to find a children’s consignment shop (based on a rumor overheard in my dentist’s reception area–but the place had gone out of business), and Gumdrop Swap was right across the street from 928 Main St., Bridgeport Board of Ed the entire time.

    I hate when that happens.

  3. Of course, the mayor is promoting “Buy Local” because there are NO national retailers in the city!!!
    Excluding the pharmacies (CVS and Walgreens), I come up with Home Depot and Marshall’s as the only national chains. And we cannot even get any of the other retailers affiliated with Marshall’s (Home Goods, Big and Tall, Cube) to come into the city. And Bridgeport is the state’s largest city!!! How pathetic.
    Sorry Steve A, but we have a non-existent Economic Development Department. They sit back and wait for businesses to come to them rather than go out and aggressively pursue businesses.
    Think small, act small, be small.

    1. Bridgeport is a fantastic place to buy any retail product made in the world. Don’t confuse retail outlets with retail products and never forget the internet which is reducing retail locations worldwide.

    2. Bob, I couldn’t agree with you more. It seems all development, whether commercial or retail, manufacturing etc. seems to jump over Bridgeport. It is either Norwalk or Stamford or Milford and Shelton. I can remember six years ago when there were articles touting Bridgeport as one of the best places to invest. That lasted 10 minutes but the development office and BRBC sat back and patted each other on the back for doing absolutely nothing with this great PR. It is just a matter of time before seniors in this city have to walk away from their properties that have been paid off for years because they are paying thousands a month in taxes. The next generation cannot afford to live here. The homes will be selling for 1 dollar from foreclosures. The city will finally live up to its lowest expectations of a welfare city. I am eternally optimistic but have always been a realist. Just how long can a city survive on the crumbs and continue to serve the state’s neediest on the backs of the city residents? Maybe if someone involved was a resident and paid taxes they would have a sense of urgency. Truth is the BRBC and the city of Bridgeport are missing local talent. Just a bunch of obsequious individuals who have made out very well over the years. I will assume Mayor Finch will get rid of some of these sycophants and replace them with a few pro-Bridgeport cheerleaders. Time is of the essence.

    3. And what did you do?

      You sat on the council for over 10 years and voted NO all the time. Where was Bob Walsh taking the lead? Where was Bob Walsh making it happen? When anyone tried to do anything, Bob Walsh was the first to shoot it down. The only pathetic thing is you.

  4. Bob, it all began in the late 1950s when then-mayor Tedesco allowed John Frouge to build Trumbull Shopping Center rather than build it at the foot of what is now the 8/25 Connector. No mayor since has had either the ability, experience or brains to remedy the economic morass of Bridgeport. As I have said often and without substantive opposing response, there are NO LOGICAL REASONS TO VOLUNTARILY GO TO BRIDGEPORT. There is no substantive industry as most have either closed or left. There are no substantive commercial establishments you can’t find elsewhere in a safer environment. Bridgeport seems to be a dumping ground of unemployed and underemployed. Bridgeport has high property taxes as there are no other ways to fund the bloated government run by do-nothings, know-nothings, cronies, flies and leeches.

    1. One asset we still have in downtown Bridgeport is the historic architecture. What is going on with all that talk from a few months ago when Don Eversley was crowing about the great housing market downtown and all the developers he said were knocking on the door on the RFP for all the City-owned properties, i.e., The Savoy Hotel, the Palace and Majestic Theaters, the Newfield Building, the former Kayes Department Store, the Jason Building and the former Middle Street Boys Club. The City as owner has to do something about these buildings before they deteriorate any further. Then what about the vacant lots Finch was so hot on creating ten to fifteen years ago when he championed the eminent domain taking of all the thriving businesses to make the area “development ready” (a favorite Timpanelli term)? What is going on with the Forestone properties that includes the former Mechanics and Farmers and now the vacant Polka Dot Playhouse on the Green? The “brain trust” over at 999 Broad Street ought to get its act together one of these days and see what other Connecticut cities such as Norwalk and Stamford are doing with their assets, as Transportation Oriented Developments and do the same. The entire downtown is walkable to the train station, however it’s the most pedestrian unfriendly, unplanned streetscape one can imagine.

      1. Historical architecture isn’t an asset until somebody makes the needed investments. There’s been little of that so far …

        But if you want to see historical buildings that have since become assets, check out Bijou Square.

        1. It is well known in other successful cities such as Providence and New Haven that using Historic architecture as a catalyst is what brings the inner city core back. We have it here but we are not using it downtown. In the myopic view of Bridgeport city government, historic preservation is still a dirty word. This view continues to persist in spite of all the notable successes with Read’s Artspace, Washington Park, 588-612 East Main Street, the Crescent Block, Harrison Apartments, Habitat William Street Rowhouses, to name a few.

          1. Bridgeporteur,
            I beg to differ. The City Trust Development opened in 2005-2007. It was a $30 million historic restoration under the strict guidance of the State Historic Preservation Office; same for The Arcade and 144 Golden Hill’s $23 million historic restoration.

            Hopefully the City will announce which developer(s) will be selected for the six city-owned blocks in downtown, many of which have buildings with historic significance like the former Boys Club; Majestic/Poli Theaters et al. Look for that announcement in December. Bridgeport’s Downtown is full of wonderful Historic bones.

            If you haven’t been to Fairfield Avenue’s Bijou Complex, walk into the new movie theater and go upstairs to Antinozzi’s architectural office. Wander down to the Cohen and Wolf law firm, which is the former UI Headquarters as well as the Aquarion building on Main Street across from the fabulous Barnum Museum. The historic treasures are noteworthy.

    1. To Nancy Hadley, yes the Arcade, the Arcade Hotel and the City Trust Buildings are fine examples also. The historic buildings downtown that have been done followed the lead of Read’s Artspace. We cannot rest on our laurels. Every rainstorm brings more deterioration to Downtown North and every arson fire makes a precarious economic development more at risk. How long has the M & F Building sat vacant? Now they have actually created another historic vacant building: McLevy Hall??? There is nothing being done. What is going to happen to the Middle Street Post Office? Deconstruction follows Undevelopment. The first thing Bridgeport Downtown North should have done is for someone to place it on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s List of “Most Endangered Historic Places.” Maybe that would draw attention to the problem. It certainly is not being given any urgency by local historic preservation organizations or by anyone who works in Historic Preservation within the City. This is a classic example of “Demolition by Neglect” and yes, the Bijou Theater is fantastic thanks to a few visionaries who know how to implement.


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