New Oxford restaurant now open for business
OXFORD - The town’s newest restaurant - the Ole Dog Tavern in the Oxford House - is now open for business.
The restaurant in the former home of Brennan Shebeen’s opened Wednesday. On Thursday night, most of the restaurant’s parking lot at 441 Oxford Road (Route 67) was full.
While some Facebook pages call the name of the new restaurant the “Lazy Dog Tavern,” the sign outside the Oxford House reads “The Ole Dog Tavern.”
According to a February 2016 Connecticut Post article, Stratford’s Lazy Dog Tavern is the creation of restaurant owners Delmonico, of Fairfield, and O’Neill, of Shelton.
Known by many as “Chubby,” Delmonico has successfully run a series of Chubby’s restaurants in various locations since the mid-1990s beginning with his first location in Derby. O’Neill previously ran The Field restaurant — just down the street from Chubby’s on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport — for eight years before closing in 2014 to pursue his second Black Rock business, ReFab, a furniture restoration shop.
Delmonico said they wanted to open a tavern that would appeal to Stratford’s blue-collar roots and offer a place for families to enjoy good food in a relaxed atmosphere.
On its Facebook page, some of its patrons have already posted the Oxford menu. Items include soups like French onion and New England clam chowder, a “burger in the grass,” Tex-Mex pulled pork along with ceasar, steak and grilled mango salads. One salad called the Cubby Love Salad with mixed greens with walnuts, cranberries, gorgonzola and grilled marinated chicken gives a nod to restauranteur Delmonico’s other restaurant - Chubby’s in Bridgeport.
The “this and that” section of the menu includes wings, quesadillas, crab cakes, egg rolls, nachos, coconut shrimp, fried ravioli, pierogies, fried calamari, chicken tenders, eggplant rollantini and “pecan smoked shredded pork sliders.” The menu from Chubby’s in Bridgeport provides a deeper look at what’s available at the Oxford restaurant, along with a lively bar atmosphere.
In October, Brennan’s Shebeen, an Irish-style pub closed after only two years. The business faced increased competition from Pies & Pints, about two miles away on Route 67. American Pie & Pub, another restaurant with a large beer selection in Seymour, also drew customers away from Brennan’s Shebeen. The restaurant that has two locations in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport and at the H. Smith Richardson golf course in Fairfield will remain open. The Brennan’s Shebeen business was recently sold and will be taken over by another entity.
Brennan’s Shebeen’s opening in June 2014 followed the renovation of the Oxford landmark. The Oxford House was built in 1795 by Daniel and Job Candee as a hotel on the then-newly constructed Oxford Turnpike, now Route 67. Farmers -- in the northern part of the state -- who were driving their animals to market often stayed there. The inn had stonewall pens in the back to house the animals overnight. In the early 1800s, the post office was also housed in the building. The building was moved several feet to its current location when Route 67 was relocated in the 1940.
For decades, the Oxford House restaurant -- where signature dishes like duck and Yankee pot roast were customer favorites -- was owned by William and Tracy McGill. Financial problems lead to foreclosure and the restaurant’s closing in the fall of 2011.