Arden’s Rowayton cafe with a modern coastal vibe opens this month

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Opening July 12, Arden’s is a community cafe founded by Rowayton residents Jill Brody and Laura Jayson that is “dedicated to embracing the town’s historic seaside charm,” according to a press release. The cafe and cafe were inspired by the duo’s appreciation for their city, as well as their desire to provide a “community hospitality experience” to the region. But it wasn’t just a love affair with Rowayton and its coastal town that spurred the creation of Arden; it is Brody’s personal story that provides the namesake of the pit stop.

“My great-grandfather was a conductor and a pianist,” she said in an email referring to Victor Arde. “He chose the name ‘Arden’ as his stage name to express his creativity, and my parents passed that name on to me as a middle name.”

This family connection became a starting point for Brody’s future Rowayton restaurant when she learned of her great-grandfather’s ties to the area.

“The bond was even closer when I learned that he was playing at the bandstand in Rowayton Roton Point over a century ago,” Brody said. “This connection to the name ‘Arden’ is felt throughout the experience as a welcoming and intimate space where you will always see a familiar face.”

Arden’s Rowayton offers a mix of sweet and savory dishes, including salads (like the ones pictured here), sandwiches and pastries.


Chloé Crane-Leroux for Arden’s / Contributing photo
Arden's Rowayton offers a mix of sweet and savory dishes, including pastries, parfaits and coffee.

Arden’s Rowayton offers a mix of sweet and savory dishes, including pastries, parfaits and coffee.


Chloé Crane-Leroux for Arden’s / Contributing photo


Arden’s Rowayton will serve a mix of sweet and savory dishes, ranging from salads to pastries. (Chloé Crane-Leroux for Arden’s / Contributed Photos)

Brody and Jayson took that local connection one step further and created a seasonal, rotating menu for Arden’s with ingredients sourced from local venues, according to a statement, such as Flour Water Salt Bread in Darien, Millstone Farm in Wilton, Nit Noi provisions in Norwalk and Greenwich and Westport ILSE Cafe. The restaurant – which is “the first culinary concept to open in Rowayton for over 10 years” – will serve sweet and savory dishes, ranging from pastries and pies to “toasts” (such as toast with prosciutto, figs, burrata and basil) and sandwiches.

Inside the cafe at 185 Rowayton Avenue, Brody said she and Jayson “were inspired by Mediterranean beach towns” to capture the “minimalist yet nautical feel” inherent in Rowayton. This meant incorporating the use of the hand-dyed blue color featured in their towels and seat cushions, while using “wave-shaped straw fixtures” to invoke the shoreline. Brody said they also brought in a Florida-based ceramist Sarah Ceramic Glass and artist Nico Linares to create custom hand-painted coffee mugs and plates in a blue and white color palette with Arden’s name.

Once Arden’s officially opens on July 12, it will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. And to mark its first week in business, the restaurant will launch its monthly joint dinner series — “Arden’s After Hours” — on July 14. The dinner series will include a cocktail reception followed by a seated four-course dinner.

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