Kuhn’s chili warms a night of Fairfield restaurant nostalgia
FAIRFIELD — It harkened back to a warm Fairfield evening decades ago.
Chili sauce from local favorite Kuhn’s was on hand, and there was plenty of chatter about other local dining spots of the day — Dogwoods, Rocket Drive-In, Larry’s Diner, Tokay Lounge and Al’s Place, to name a few. Hot dogs were on the grill under balmy skies, and it all was washed down with locally brewed beers.
That was scene Thursday at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, as it hosted a “Brews & Bites” reception that showcased nostalgia for the town’s culinary roots. The event was planned by the museum in conjunction with the annual Fairfield County Giving Day, which highlights the need for donations for area non-profits.
Patti Woods, author of the recently published “Lost Restaurants of Fairfield,” was on hand to discuss her chronicle of eateries departed from the local dining scene.
One of the restaurant spotlighted in Woods’ book is Kuhn’s Corner, which was opened as a hot dog stand by Gasper “Gus” Kuhn in the late 1940s at the corner of Tunxis Hill Road and Black Rock Turnpike. A shopping center now stands at the site, and among its tenants, includes the popular Chip’s restaurant.
Gus Kuhn’s son Keith, Keith’s wife Dina, Keith’s daughter Tammy and grillmaster Ronald Kuhn were on hand Thursday to serve up hot dogs and jars of their chili sauce. Gus sold the Kuhn’s property in 1987, but the sauce lives on, with weekly batches delivered to area places like the Five-O Food Store, Bill’s Crossroads, Captain’s Cove, Danny’s Drive-In and the Windmill.
Will Siss, author of “Connecticut Beer: A History of Nutmeg State Brewing,” also appeared to discuss beer, which in recent years has been produced by a growing number of state-based breweries.
Underscoring that trend were the three kinds of beer from Stratford-based Two Roads Brewing Co. served to visitors.