This daily column highlights shorter announcements or updates, and helps you get a quick start to the Wilton news of the day. Have a news tip, item or something you know people are chattering about? Email us at

Bye Bye Portofino?

Say it ain’t so–Portofino Restaurant and Bar is closing.

But…there’s GOOD news. Owner Tony Ramadani is shuttering his restaurant temporarily so that he can remodel and reopen as Red Rooster Pub, an outpost of his successful two other Red Rooster Pubs in Newtown and Ridgefield.

The menus at the Red Roosters include burgers, sandwiches, make-your-own salads, several varieties of thin crust pizza, and a wide variety of pub starters and main dishes. Restaurant staff said the hope is that the eatery will only be closed less than two months. Already, there’s a pile of wood beams sitting curbside next to Portofino ready for the construction to start.

No word yet on whether Ramadani’s new incarnation will be cash-only, something Portofino has been famous for–but both of the other Red Rooster locations do accept credit cards.

Below, what the interior of the Red Rooster Pub in Newtown looks like:

So THAT’s Why The Thunder Made the Earth Move Tuesday Night

You weren’t dreaming, it really did feel like the earth moved when the thunderstorm hit slightly before midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 8. People took to social media to describe their houses shaking, families waking and dogs quaking. A thunderstorm in January is an odd enough occurrence (although thunder can sometimes sound during snowstorms), but this booming thunder was something quite different.

Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan of NBC Connecticut took to Twitter to explain what happened. The boom was caused by a phenomenon called a “stable layer,” a strong low level inversion of the air temperatures. A higher layer of warm air traps the cold air closer to the ground and that stable layer traps the sound waves closer to the earth as well. As a result the sound is louder and travels farther–and we feel the sound waves more. Hanrahan also said that sometimes the sound is very far away from the actual lightning.

Speaking of lightning, there was a serious lightning strike in Weston about two miles from the Wilton border–it caused significant damage to the property and the residence, according to the Weston Volunteer Fire Department.

The website captured a lightning strike as well in north Wilton at 11:48 p.m. Tuesday night. CC BY-SA 4.0 / Lightning data by and contributors