STRATFORD, Conn. — Take one look at the always-packed parking lot at Chubby’s in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport and you’ll know why Stratford residents have high hopes for its sister restaurant, Lazy Dog Tavern, which officially opened in town Tuesday night.
“They have a proven track record,” said Karen DelVecchio, executive vice president of the Stratford Chamber of Commerce who attended the ribbon-cutting. “I think it’s great. There’s always room for a new restaurant.”
The Lazy Dog Tavern is the brainchild of veteran restauranteurs Chris “Chubby” Delmonico of Fairfield and Niall O’Neill of Shelton. The business partners work together at Chubby’s and opened the doors at Lazy Dog for a soft launch last month.
They said their plan for success is simple.
“We treat people good and we give them a good meal,” Delmonico said. “Good prices, good value. People work hard for their money.”
The menu offers a wide selection of tasty treats, from salads and pizza to tacos, tuna steak and 12 types of wings. Nightly specials range from 50-cent wing Wednesday to Saturday prime rib.
It's set at the front of Main Street’s Stationhouse Square, a space formerly known as Siena Italian Trattoria. The restaurant is directly across from the Stratford train station, an ideal location, said O’Neill. The main dining room seats 40 and the restaurant will open a patio with seating for another 40 in the warmer months.
Wood from an old Easton bar adds a rustic touch, and the pair raised the ceiling over the bar and added rafters to make the space larger and airier.
Mayor John Harkins, who attended to ribbon-cutting, said he wished the restaurant much success.
“The food’s fantastic. And they have a following and they’re coming here now,” he said. “We’re very grateful they chose Stratford.”
So what’s in the name?
“He has a bulldog. I have a bulldog. And they’re lazy,” said O’Neill.
In fact, the wall across from the main entrance is covered in photos of bulldogs, including O’Neill’s Darla and Delmonico’s aptly named Rocky, who, at 95 pounds, might hold his own in the ring.