Iconic Westport eatery, the Corner, to reopen this spring

On Sunday mornings in the 1980s, lines formed in front of the Corner Restaurant as people waited for tables at the popular Midtown breakfast place. New owners Michael Pfeifer and Dawn Slaughter are bringing back the Corner with a “farm to table” theme.

Many people can relive their youth when the Corner Restaurant reopens in March: step back to bellbottoms, big eyeglasses and Ronald Reagan in the White House.

The eatery at Broadway and Westport Road operated for almost three decades before it closed in late 2009.

In the 1980s, it was the place – so popular that people routinely waited in long lines outside to eat breakfast. It declined after original owner Stephen Friedman died in the 1990s and then sort of gradually faded like an old grease stain.

But Michael Pfeifer was one of those people who used to sit with friends at the tables looking out on the street corner. Now the Downtown resident and his partner, Dawn Slaughter of Midtown, are opening it again.

Why did Pfeifer, his friends and so many others go there? The food was never outstanding.

“It just had a relaxed atmosphere,” Pfeifer said. “You could hang out and have a really great time.”

After it closed, he got the idea of buying it. Both he and Slaughter have years of restaurant experience and they bought it last year.

On Tuesday, amid construction, they noted the clean sheetrock walls and new tile flooring in the kitchen. It will not be the same place when it opens.

“Our focus is farm to table,” Slaughter said, using fresh, local ingredients when they can get them.

They will serve liquor but it will be things like mimosas, Bloody Marys, bottled beers and inexpensive wines. Their coffee will be French press or regular drip variety.

They don’t want to compete with area bars or espresso coffee shops, they said. Their breakfast and lunch menu from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. will include “all the old standards with some nice gourmet items as well,” Slaughter said.

There will be German chocolate pancakes, for instance, and pancakes with caramelized apple on top of them. There will be pork belly sandwiches, scallops and salmon dishes and the usual stuff.

That menu will be available with many specials from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays.

They have bought a large oven to make biscuits and other goods from scratch and would like to someday open a bakery in Westport, they say.

The corner chef will be Natasha Sears, former executive chef at Figlio Italian Restaurant on the Plaza.

And they plan to have outdoor seating when possible, like a touch of Paris come to Westport.

They hope to open before St. Patrick’s Day.

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