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Entries in connecticut (4)


brick 'n mortar, part i

We've been working on a secret!  Without a kitchen, I've been cranky not cooking a meal in two full months but I have been working around the clock on something very special…

We have our liquor permit, we have a space made of brick and mortar, we have inventory, we have coolers and a parking lot, a credit card swiping machine, a cash register with a scanner that makes that boo-di-lip noise and...and...  and, of course, we still have LOADS of work to do...but now, The Wise Old Dog dream really starts to take shape.

So, where are we?  In a nutshell: West Hartford, Connecticut!

We've bought South Quaker Wine & Spirits, a small local "package store," and we're open for business at 610 South Quaker Lane.  I formed this company back in August and since then, The Wise Old Dog brand has started to stand for something... an approach, an attitude...stuff that tastes good. 

Here's what we are going to do: With a permit from the State of Connecticut, we are selling beer, wine, liquor, tobacco (and lottery tickets too!) at our retail shop here in West Hartford.  What is the space like?  Well, it's kinda plain...but not for long.

We all have routines...we go to the same diner every Saturday, the same coffee shop, the same dive bar, the same liquor store...just think, what would happen if that familiar favorite diner suddenly closed down without warning...not good!  So, we're going to take it slow... 

I'm going to work at our new little shop every day that we're open; I'm going to say hello to new people and tell them how excited we are about our plans.  We'll drink things, toast to small business, listen to music, and get to know one another.  Then, with plenty of warning, we're going to close up shop for about a week.  Behind paper-covered windows, an army of skilled craftsman (and slightly less-skilled guys like me) will set to secret work on the renovation…

And, in the meantime?  Well, come on down!  I’m getting my retail sea legs over the next couple of weeks and then, our major wine sale starts (stay tuned!)...I'll go through every bottle of wine in the place and mark just about all of them down 10%-30%...awesome, huh?!  In fact, you'll be pressed to find a wine on the floor over $19.99.  Starting today, we are all stocked up on wine, beer, and, if you're thirsty, I'm sure we can help you out.  Feel like trying your luck at the jackpot?  We've got a full inventory of lotto tickets.  Need a pack of smokes?  Got 'em.

Remember, this is your chance to see the before...and, if you like, pull me aside and let me know what sort of things you'd like to see on the shelves when we reopen as The Wise Old Dog.


O'Man...what a breakfast!

Click here to see what Diners Drive-ins & Dives had to say about this local spotO'Rourke's Diner in Middletown lives up to its reputation...Think: local diner (est.1941) turned gastroteque.  The food and the rich strong coffee here are outstanding and well worth the usual wait (as we were leaving, the line went down the block while the first snowfall of the year failed to deter the eager devotees).  An hour or so earlier we had walked right in, saddled up to the counter and were greeted by a friendly staff and mixed homemade breads (including a proper chocolate chip pound cake...dip this one in your won't be sorry!).

The menu is endless and when the waitress announced that they only serve breakfast on the weekends, we were actually relieved because this policy narrowed our choices eliminating the extensive lunch portion of the menu (however, there are still several jam-packed pages of breakfast specialties!). 

For breakfast I had the Dubliner Omelette filled with homemade corned beef hash and served with oven roasted fingerling potatoes, Irish Bacon, and O'Rourke's own toasted Irish Soda Bread spread with raspberry jam.  Phenomenal.  Allie had the Sante Fe Omelette stuffed with guacomole and served with Irish brown bread, two kinds of chili, and homefries.  David's Irish Fry of scambled eggs and corned beef hash is what I'll order next looked delicious. DONE!

Head down to Middletown and get in on this local won't be the first to discover the remarkable gourmet food they're turning out inside this hot spot but then again, in a case like this, being a follower has never tasted so good.

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