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Black Duck Cafe, Popular Fairfield County 'Food Hangout,' Closing After 40-Year Run

The Black Duck Cafe is closing its doors for good.
The Black Duck Cafe is closing its doors for good. Photo Credit: The Black Duck Cafe/Facebook

After 40 years as a staple and favorite "hangout" in Westport, the Black Duck Cafe is closing its door for good.

The sad news came via Facebook when the owners of the floating barge restaurant posted on Tuesday they would be shuttering their doors for good.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce our closing," they wrote. "We've had an amazing 40 years here in Saugatuck and in Westport. We are grateful for every friend we've had the pleasure to serve and entertain along the way," the post read.

A GoFundMe page set up for the restaurant with the motto, "ruin your liver down by the river," says the reason the restaurant is closing is that it's sinking financially.

"Consistency and “turning back of time” has been the Duck’s longtime appeal," the GoFundMe page said . "Yet this turning back of time has also lead to the accrual of increasing debts.

"Though we have had to increase our prices over the years, these increases have been disproportionately lower than the increasing food costs. In other words, our commitment to being one of the last affordable, laidback restaurants in lower Fairfield County, has caught up to us.

"In the last six months, we've been experiencing slower business and now have fallen on significant financial hardship and are facing the biggest challenge of the Black Duck’s 40 years of business.

"It is devastating to think that we won't be part of Westport and a part of your lives anymore," they continued. "If our small barge on Riverside Ave becomes empty, so many of you, our guests, will no longer have your go-to place to go to, so we the employees, are doing everything we can to keep it going."

But apparently, not enough funding was raised and the owners made the tough decision to sell.

The announcement set off a wave of sadness and memories from patrons who met their husbands and wives at the restaurant that has been featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

Some said they just assumed the Black Duck Cafe would always be there, others expressed sadness the little neck steamed clam specials would be no more, while still others offered fond memories of growing up with the restaurant.

The owners said they will be open Wednesday, Oct. 31 and closed Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2. Then they plan to go out with a "real bang," on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4.

" Let's go out with a REAL BANG!," they wrote.

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