For months, the Callahan's store opening on Broad Street has literally been shrouded in mystery, with the windows papered over with the Callahan's hot dog logo. That changes Sunday, when the store celebrates its grand opening. Daniel DeMiglio has spent the past seven months nailing down every detail in the restaurant. The Norwood store is meant to be a throwback to the gas station hot dog stand his grandfather, Leonard "Artie" Castrianni first purchased in 1950.
The store is splashed in mustard yellow, covered in memorabilia from the old stores and decorated to fit the roadside stand theme: The menu sign has prices for Regular and Super hot dogs, customers open their glass bottles on the bumper of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air jutting out from the wall and even the employees are dressed as gas station attendants. The speakers play a steady stream of oldies: The Supremes, The Marcels, The Marvalettes."This is not fast food, this is fun food."
"Everything is an experience," owner Dan DeMiglio said. "This is not fast food, this is fun food."
The restaurant has a huge on line following, with more than 20,000 likes on Facebook—The Callahan's Kids, as DeMiglio calls them. They've followed DeMiglio since he brought Callahan's back as a food truck in 2014.Callahan's had been a staple in Bergen County for decades. It had been DeMiglio's dream to run one of his own, but his family sold the business in 2006.More than 1,000 people have said they're coming to the grand opening on Sunday. The Callahan's food truck will be outside selling T-shirts, and DeMiglio plans to greet every customer as they walk in. DeMiglio isn't phased by the expected crowd, though the restaurant has only 22 seats. His food truck drew upwards of 4,000 people at some events.
"We're used to huge crowds so we can handle it," DeMiglio said.DeMiglio originally planned to open in October, but he has spent the past seven months making sure every detail is perfect. He's one of the few Sabrett customers buying 14-inch hot dogs, just to set Callahans' super-sized hot dogs apart.
Like in the food truck, DeMiglio insists on using glass bottles, requiring a special order from Pepsi.
"My goal is to provide more than just an incredible product," DeMiglio said, "but an experience that takes you back in time, when life was easier."
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.