29 Markle Ct, an ‘upscale new American’ restaurant, now open in Bridgeport

Photo of Jailene Cuevas

After opening a new American restaurant in Bridgeport, executive chef Damon Sawyer said things are going better than expected.

"It has been very busy and I kind of knew it was going to be busy, but it is more than we thought," Sawyer said. "It has been great overall."

Sawyer and his Bridgeport-based partners, Ishalee Green and Wesley Saintil Arbuthnott, opened 29 Markle Ct, named after the restaurants address, on Nov. 4 after a Turkish eatery closed at the same Bridgeport location. 

Sawyer has been part of the food industry in Connecticut for several years. He left for a bit in 2019 to launch a restaurant in Philadelphia, where his family is from. He came back aiming to open a downtown eatery in Bridgeport during the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

He believes everything from the aesthetic of the restaurant to the food is what makes this place "unique and an experience" for downtown Bridgeport. He describes the restaurant's menu as "upscale new America." Shipments of food from local produce come in six days a week making the food "fresh."

Food sold at Bridgeport's 29 Markle Ct.

Food sold at Bridgeport's 29 Markle Ct.

Contributed by Damon Sawyer and Meghann Olson

"One of our menu items is a spiced smoked half chicken," Sawyer told Hearst CT last year. "It's wood and heat. So you're imparting the essence of the wood flavor with that low temperature and slow cooking. We have a halibut dish and the puree is a corn puree that's been smoked."

The menu features flavors from different cultures and all over the world, Sawyer said. From homemade pastas and flavors from Louisiana to  reimagined soul food dishes, the food is cooked with seasonal, local vegetables and meats. Customers will be able to order small plates and vegetables, sandwiches and entrées.

Chef Roshara Sanders, named in Connecticut Magazine's 40 Under 40 in 2023 and the first Black female chef instructor at Culinary Institute of America, visited the restaurant and said, "Chef 10/10 thank you for a REAL display of refined dishes that gave me and my tastebuds a delicious explosion in ever bite," on Instagram.

Even though the restaurant opened towards the end of the year, which Sawyer said is an "unusual" opening date, the feedback has been great. The restaurant is looking forward to serving the community and being inspired with new food ideas, he said.

"The menu will change as the seasons go but we will also add some new things," he said. "We at 29 Markle, are excited to introduce new flavors to the community."