To say that the clientele at this 112-year-old establishment, which pulls up to the front of city hall every night at 5pm, is a colorful group of people is a ridiculous understatement. Among the regulars are big-shot city politicians, police officers, drunks who need to sober up when the bars close, and street people who range from wildly entertaining early in the evening to wild and scary after midnight.
There is a full menu of sandwiches, including good lobster rolls and a great steak and cheese sandwich on toast, but most orders are for hot dogs or hamburgers. The dogs are plump and pink, served in soft steamed buns, available with chili and all the usual condiments. The hamburgers are modest-size patties, available from plain to deluxe (lettuce, tomato, mayo, etc.) but devotees of great junk food will have nothing but the Haven Brothers Murder Burger, which is a double topped with every condiment in the house plus bacon, cheese, and chili. Side a Murder Burger with cheese-glopped French fries and you have a seriously satisfying sidewalk feast.
The most popular beverage at Haven Brothers is coffee milk – like chocolate milk, but flavored with coffee instead. Or you can ask Lora Giusti, neice of owner Saverio Giusti, to mix you up a cabinet (the Rhode Island word for a milk shake) from ice cream, milk, and flavoring. Because power from the lamp post into which the diner gets plugged is limited, frappes are made with a battery-operated mixer!