This property, formerly occupied by the 190 Main Restaurant, has been leased to the owners of Nômade Westport, a restaurant operating a short distance away at 150 Main St. / Photos by Gretchen Webster
Nômade Westport opened at 150 Main St. about a year ago, a site previously occupied many years by Tavern on Main and Chez Pierre.

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — Nômade Westport, the popular downtown restaurant that opened a year ago at 150 Main St., is expanding.

But it’s not enlarging the current location. Instead, the owners are opening a new dining destination a few doors away.

Mal Jacobson, owner of the small shopping center at 190 Main St., confirmed that he has rented the space formerly occupied by 190 Main Restaurant to Nômade’s owners —  Patrick Jean, the restaurant’s general manager and partner, and Ciara Webster, the investment partner. 

“I’m excited about that,” he said.

Jean shares the sentiment: “We’re excited to do this.  Nômade is doing very well.”

The 190 Main St. location is much smaller than Nômade, which seats over 150 people, according to Jean. The new location will seat about 50 people when remodeled.

First, however, the Nômade partners need to get approvals from the town to refurbish and expand the kitchen at 190 Main, probably by adding dormers to the building, Jean said. He estimated that preparing the building to reopen as a restaurant will take at least six months.

190 Main Restaurant operated at that location for seven years, closing last March, Jacobson said.

Nômade Westport opened in August 2022 in the space occupied many years by Tavern on Main, which closed at the beginning of the pandemic and stayed shuttered for two years. Before that, the French restaurant Chez Pierre also had operated at the spot many years.

The Nômade partners did not intend to open a second restaurant so soon, but the 190 Main Restaurant property became available and is conveniently close to their first location. 

“It will be easy for me to manage because it is only a block away,” Jean said.

Nômade specializes in international cuisine, featuring dishes from different culinary traditions, including Morocco, Hungary, France and elsewhere.

The new restaurant also will have distinctive food, but specifics of the menu will be determined later.

Also new to Nômade Westport is breakfast service, which is expected to start in a few weeks. A chef has been hired to make pastries and breakfast fare, and the restaurant will open for breakfast patrons after additional staff for mornings is hired, according to Jean.

Both Nômade partners have been outspoken among the downtown merchants concerned about the plan to redesign Parker Harding Plaza’s parking lot. Jean has spoken at several meetings of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee and a Board of Selectwomen’s meeting about what he feels is a lack of adequate parking downtown.

Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist and journalism teacher for many years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman newspaper for 10 years and teaches journalism at Southern Connecticut State University.