Keepin' It Hot on a 'Chili' Day in Cos Cob

A respite during Hercules for Greenwich town workers.

Mother Nature can be blamed for many things.

Just ask Dominick Delfino, the owner of Joey B's Famous Chili Hub in Cos Cob.

For six years, the retro diner on River Road Extension has served up its taste bud tickling chili. And now, with the first winter storm of 2014 bearing down on Greenwich, the crew at Joey B's wants to give back.

"I have crews from the Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol coming in and asking if we'll be open (overnight)," said Delfino who took over ownership of the diner about 18 months ago.
So as winterstorm Hercules bore down one the region Jan. 2, Delfino and his crew — Justin Currytto, Joe Champagne and his son, Dominick Jr., also were in the storm prep mode Thursday afternoon.

The crew hopes to capitalize on the need to reenergize the Greenwich DPW crews and emergency responders who are coping with Hercules' wrath.

Delfino was to open his eatery at 3 a.m. Friday so town crews would have a place to warm up and grab a bite to eat from the newly-expanded menu. Town employees who drop by will receive a free coffee, Delfino said. Besides the requisite breakfast choices and the hot dogs and burgers, the restaurant is now offering pita sandwiches, wraps and salads.
"We wanted to make it more of a diner and luncheonette,"Delfino said. But Joey B's aficionados don't fear — the chili remains on the menu, along with their popular burgers and hot dogs.

By offering free coffee, Delfino said, "It's our way of saying 'thank you.' "

So he and grill cook Joe Champagne were manning the stations of the diner at 118 River Rd. Ext. in Cos Cob on Friday morning.

Champagne said, "When there's an accident on the turnpike —the Mianus River bridge overlooks the neighborhoods — we get the crews saying, 'Ok, it's 15 minutes. It's 15 minutes,' before the diner would open at the usual 6 a.m. "As soon as we open, they come in."

Champagne said crews from the town's Department of Public Works and emergency responders appreciate the home-cooked fare and hot coffee that Joey B's offers, as opposed to chain-store operations.

Depending upon the success of their inaugural early-opening, Delfino said he may expand his early morning hours for future storms. 

"If it works, I'll be open for every storm," he said.



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