Up next: Augie & Ray's (East Hartford, CT)
Way back in 1946, two East Hartford cops named Ray Hutt and Augie Bria took a chance and opened Augie & Ray's Drive-in restaurant — a hot dog stand and dairy bar. Now, 75 years later it remains a local favorite.
My great grand father started this restaurant about 75 years ago. East Hartford is a very blue collar, working class town. It is home to Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, which has downsized substantially over the past few decades. Our restaurant is considered a landmark of our proud community. My cousin and I are fourth generation owners. We have an extremely loyal customer base. We are your quintessential "Mom and Pop" operation. We have a breakfast sandwich named after East Hartford native and U.S. Representative John Larson who still comes in when he is in town. Our specialties are our hot dogs with my great grandfathers homemade chili sauce, hand cut and battered onion rings and classic style milks shakes. Prior to the pandemic we had a Thursday night cruise night where we would fill our parking lot with sometimes 50-100 cars. We also started selling Christmas Trees around the holidays. We have a long counter with barstools inside and a canopy with picnic tables outdoors. It simply was not safe to allow customers indoors with our current set up. We have been doing curbside and take out only since April. Our revenue for 2020 is down over forty percent. We are looking for any help we can get to survive the coming months.