20 Aug 2014
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Bun N' Burger's Last Day in Stratford

Today, March 21, is your last chance to head down to the burger joint and order some feel-good food. Come tomorrow the restaurant will be in the hands of a Trumbull restaurateur.

Bun N' Burger's Last Day in Stratford

Editor's note: The original publication date of this article, March 6, has been changed to accommodate layout preferences.

Norine Benedetto and Maureen McLarin are leaving on a high note.

After seven years of chili cheese dogs, double cheeseburgers with the works and chocolate shakes, the mother and daughter team behind are selling their Main Street locale to a Trumbull restaurateur.

"I told him, 'You treat these people well, they'll take care of you,'" said Benedetto, the mother, whose next move will be a journey into the corporate world of retail. "I know he'll have some of our food and he's going to incorporate more."

McLarin is hopeful her next step will be taking the Bun N' Burger model and tailoring it to a full-service restaurant with an expanded menu and waitstaff. She's already eyeing a spot in Stratford and hopes to open within six months.

"I have a lot of rough sketches in my head," she said. "I like the old soda bars; it brings you back to a positive time."

The mother and daughter's last day at Bun N' Burger will be March 21. The new owner will change the name.

"It still seems sort of surreal," McLarin said. "I'm excited to move on to the next chapter but it's bittersweet."

McLarin was two years old when her mom and pop bought on Ferry Boulevard in 1981. "She'd wash shakes in the short sink," her mother said.

Now McLarin has her own two-year-old daughter, Emma, who during the interview was busy making noise in the kitchen behind the front counter.

"It's a good dynamic we have," McLarin said of working with her mother. "But the next restaurant will be just me."

Besides her chili recipe -- "She has a chili that's to die for," says her mother -- McLarin will be taking with her what she's learned about customer service.

"We always had the philosophy if a customer comes in and we don't have it [on the menu], we'll have it the next time they come in," McLarin said.

By opening her own restaurant, McLarin will be following in the steps of her great-grandfather who ran a hot dog and lemonade stand on Pleasure Beach during its amusement park days.

"He did very well there," Benedetto said. "My husband became fascinated by it."

Benedetto and her husband, Stan, own on Main Street. They sold Danny's in 1998. Over the years, the family has owned about seven restaurants in the area.

"You develop a passion for the business and it just doesn't leave you," Benedetto said.

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