Riley’s Hot Dog and & Burgers Gourmet Opens
If you are looking for hot dogs and burgers in New Britain that are anything but ordinary, Riley’s Hot Dog & Burgers Gourmet is the spot to try.
The restaurant, owned by Deb Dalena and Rick Charamut officially opened its doors on Monday after redoing the former Ink Spot on 61 Glen St.
On Friday night about 40 people were in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony and a few samples from the menu.
As Mayor Erin Stewart cut the ribbon she said, “I’m proud to be opening another new business in the community that is making a comeback.”
“To be able to see this today and the work that was done is incredible,” said Stewart. “It is something they can be proud of. It’s taken a long time, but we are looking forward to having another place to come to eat in town. People say they wish New Britain had more places to come and here is another one. I hope everyone comes out and supports them and eats local.”
Old photographs adorn the walls featuring Stanley Tools, a parade down West Main and a busy Main Street in the 1950s.
Chairs are wood and tools and manufacturing are key accents to the walls and table decor.
“We worked together a while ago and I always wanted to do something with hot dogs. I had picked up a hot dog cart and she had found a space to put me in and ran it for a little while on South St.,” said Charamut. “It went pretty good, but we kind of just built on it and when this space became available it was too good to pass up.”
There is plenty of public parking next to the restaurant for patrons and the signs of the restaurant are clearly visible.
The pair helped gut the place and re-do the entire spot for the restaurant.
“We did everything from standing in the parking lot and count traffic to see how viable it would be,” said Dalena. “There is a lot of business right in this area.”
And all the area businesses do not overlap in the type of food they offer.
“We are not right on Main St. but we are close,” said Charamut.
A patio is planned for outside and Dalena said the area has beautiful architecture you can see from the patio.
“We are trying to focus on lunch and the business crowd,” said Charamut. “Deb loves to cook and I cook and am a foodie. We had hot dogs, and burgers are second nature to hot dogs. We looked for everyday foods we could put on our menu. We would hear something and try to build on it.”
Dalena said there were a lot of failures. For every 10 recipes they would try, only one would work.
The menu includes such items as a Mac and Cheese Dog, a Reuben Dog, a Popper Dog, a BLT Dog, The Porker Dog and a California Dog.
“The Mac and Cheese Dog took me a long time to get it right. It took me many tries to get a mac and cheese that was creamy and was just right,” said Dalena. “Some people can come in here and get a salad with or without a burger.”
“Anything that is on the menu involves a sausage, a hot dog or a patty,” said Charamut. “There are no regular sandwiches.”
Some of the burgers, including The Porker Burger, is topped with pulled pork and tangy cole slaw. There is a Triple B Burger that is topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, ghost pepper black cheese and lettuce and tomato.
“Just from the two soft openings we have had, the favorites are the Mac N Cheese, the Popper Dog and the Triple B,” said Dalena.
There is also a salmon burger, a turkey burger and quinoa veggie burger available.
Side dishes include salty balls, fresh cut fries and fried plantains.
Prices range from $2.60 for a big naked dog to $7.25 for The Porker Burger.
“We are hoping with what we’ve done to this place considering what it looked like and looks like now, we inspire others to do that,” said Charamut.
The name and logo of the Restaurant features Riley a dog Charamut once owned.
“I am looking forward to getting to know the customers, see what they like and make them happy,” said Dalena. “We are hoping this will be a happy place.”
Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, check out rileysgroumet.com or call 860-259-6930.