Stamford Advocate

Paul “Mac” Mackenzie Groetzinge­r

February 24, 1952 - August 28, 2021

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Paul “Mac” Mackenzie Groetzinge­r, a well-known Fairfield County restaurate­ur, died suddenly on Saturday, August 28th, 2021 at his home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina surrounded by his loving life partner, Gina Zangrillo and close childhood friends. He was 69 years old.

At 19 he went by steamer ship to the South Pacific, landing in Perth and traveling by land across the vast Australian outback to Melbourne. A job in the local pub enriched and inspired his dream of keeping bar and the MACKENZIE’S brand was born.

Returning one year later, he partnered with a friend and together they reinvented The Huddle in the Shippan section of Stamford. The first “Mackenzie’s” opened on the Post Road in Darien in 1976 and many establishm­ents of good food, good music and good cheer would follow in Fairfield County, St. Thomas, USVI and Florida. He was best known for his flagship, The Redding Roadhouse, that opened in 1986 and for two decades served as his stage.

The sheer force of his presence as the host, was a guarantee of laughter and fun. Entertaini­ng the crowd in his comedic singing style and free flowing lyrics, he delighted the crowd while they feasted on the generous portions and creative food he imagined and served. His hand drawn menus, bountiful meals and big drinks all contribute­d to an ambience where no one was a stranger.

Privately he was an artist with a complex mind and a prodigious talent. He spent the past 10 years designing and building a postmodern concrete home on Kiawah Island with Gina. This project allowed him to fully realize his vision and childhood dream of becoming an architect.

Mac was born in Fremont, NE on Feb 24, 1952. He was raised in Stamford, Connecticu­t. His affection for the abiding friendship­s and Shippan community lasted his lifetime. He is survived by his partner, Gina Zangrillo; his children, Paul (Cara), Danielle and Patrick Groetzinge­r; his grandchild­ren, Eloise and Mabel Groetzinge­r, and Jeremiah Garcia; his sisters, Sandra Wright (Ken); Jennifer Ahern Donahue (Donny); Gina’s children, Greg, Doug and Allison Reilly and a large family of nieces, nephews and their children, and many loyal, lifelong friends. He was predecease­d by his parents, Paul and Sheila Groetzinge­r and his brother, Roderick Groetzinge­r.

A memorial service will be planned for a future date.

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