The following is an e-mail that I received from Ron Reisner, owner of Rosco's Big Dog. He gave me permission to post it here. Dear faithful patrons, colleagues and friends, Rosco’s Big Dog will be closing on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2008, at 7PM. We have built a strong following and great critical acclaim over the past years, but due to the current economic climate, can no longer continue to operate at a financial loss. We hope you will keep in touch and remember Rosco’s Big Dog. Hopefully, there will a possibility to try again in the near future.
I am currently seeking employment for myself and my staff during this difficult time. They will remain with me until we close.
Our hours will be Friday (Today), December 26th until 7PM, Saturday (12/27) from 11 - 3, Monday (12/29) from 11 - 7, Tuesday (12/30) from 11 - 3 and our last day, Wednesday (12/31) from 11 - 7. We hope you stop by one final time so we can say goodbye in person.
Thank you for your support. Ron Email: Roscosbigdog@aol.com
This is most unfortunate. As I mentioned in another thread, it's a shame that some places serving quality food end up closing, while those with mediocre food thrive. I've been to Rosco's on a trip to Connecticut. Out of a dozen or so places I've been to in that hot dog loving state, Rosco's is my favorite. In fact, about 4 years ago the Sterns did a top 10 hot dog thread (I believe it's title is America's Best Hot Dogs). I made my own list and put Rosco's at the top. They serve the best beef and pork dog I've had. I named them best beef and pork dog and Syd's best all beef dog. Roadfood member longdog has a restaurant review on this site as does someone else I believe. I'll have to check.
Even before he opened, Ron contacted me via e-mail. He was looking for input on a top quality hot dog to serve. He and a bunch of people he assembled settled on Thumann's after tasting a number of brands. He was given exclusive rights to serve Thumann's in his area. At Rosco's you had a choice of a 6 to a lb dog or a quarter pounder. The dogs were prepared perfectly on a griddle. The roll was a new England style bun that was toasted. Ron also made a bunch of homemade toppings and condiments. His restaurant was Connecticut's answer to Amazing Hot Dog in terms of toppings offerred. The restaurant was (is) clean, service was excellent, and the owner (Ron) is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about hot dogs. As is my custom, I had a dog with just mustard, and sampled the toppings on the side. I had part of a chili slaw dog, which was excellent. Very good chili, and the best cole slaw I've had at a hot dog joint. Everything else was very good as well. If you like the relish at Blackies, you'll love Rosco's, though it was a little spicy for my taste.
Bratwurst is also on the menu as well as a steamed hamburger, which is a Connecticut specialty. Ron later added a quality kosher dog to the menu from Empire National. Rosco's has won many awards for Best Hot Dog. They always win the Hartford Courant's best hot dog. They also won "best new restaurant", I believe. They were picked as one of the 10 best hot dog restaurants by the Ellen DeGeneres show. More importantly, they were loved by members of our Roadfood family. I would urge anyone near the area to make a final visit before they close. I might even make the trip myself.
I sincerely hope that Rosco's opens again one day. I promised Ron that if it does, I will make the trip up to Connecticut for the Grand Reopening. Out of at least 200 hot dog joints I've visited, Rosco's easily makes the top 5. More like top 3. I'm sorry to see them go.