STRATFORD, Conn. — The hottest new spot in town is actually an old favorite. And after a few days of serving up long dogs during its "soft launch," the Cricket Car Hop will hold its official grand opening at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Cricket Car Hop — a Stratford landmark for more than 50 years — is once again open for business on the Access Road.
The fridges are jam-packed with long dogs, the pinball machine has a place of honor in the corner and the hot sauce recipe is still a well-guarded secret.
General Manager Ron DiCostanzo, his wife Stacy DiCostanzo and business partner Ken Burns joined Mayor John Harkins to cut the ribbon at the front doors Wednesday.
“It’s exciting they’re reincarnating the Cricket of old,” Harkins said of the beloved original that closed just down the street in 2004. “I think it’s going to be very successful. There are so many memories here.”
Stacy DiCostanzo said she’s not worried about living up to the hype at the new digs — she’s well-versed in the fried dogs and red relish that made the old place such a hit.
“A lot of people thought I owned it,” said DiCostanzo. “They always saw me there. I worked there 70 hours a week!”
Back in the day, the Cricket had competition from several other hot dog stands in the area, which was home to hundreds of hungry workers from surrounding plants. Most of those workers are long gone, but the DiCostanzos and Burns believe there will be enough mouths to feed at the new location.
The new spot boasts an outdoor patio where diners can watch planes taking off and landing at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. A drive-thru window should be open in a month or so.
Cricket fans have been abuzz for months on social media, posting artful photos of the building’s construction and memories of days gone by. Want to join the conversation? Head to their Facebook page.
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