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Bun N' Burger's Last Day in Stratford

Today, March 21, is your last chance to head down to the burger joint and order some feel-good food. Come tomorrow the restaurant will be in the hands of a Trumbull restaurateur.

Editor's note: The original publication date of this article, March 6, has been changed to accommodate layout preferences.

Norine Benedetto and Maureen McLarin are leaving on a high note.

After seven years of chili cheese dogs, double cheeseburgers with the works and chocolate shakes, the mother and daughter team behind are selling their Main Street locale to a Trumbull restaurateur.

"I told him, 'You treat these people well, they'll take care of you,'" said Benedetto, the mother, whose next move will be a journey into the corporate world of retail. "I know he'll have some of our food and he's going to incorporate more."

McLarin is hopeful her next step will be taking the Bun N' Burger model and tailoring it to a full-service restaurant with an expanded menu and waitstaff. She's already eyeing a spot in Stratford and hopes to open within six months.

"I have a lot of rough sketches in my head," she said. "I like the old soda bars; it brings you back to a positive time."

The mother and daughter's last day at Bun N' Burger will be March 21. The new owner will change the name.

"It still seems sort of surreal," McLarin said. "I'm excited to move on to the next chapter but it's bittersweet."

McLarin was two years old when her mom and pop bought on Ferry Boulevard in 1981. "She'd wash shakes in the short sink," her mother said.

Now McLarin has her own two-year-old daughter, Emma, who during the interview was busy making noise in the kitchen behind the front counter.

"It's a good dynamic we have," McLarin said of working with her mother. "But the next restaurant will be just me."

Besides her chili recipe -- "She has a chili that's to die for," says her mother -- McLarin will be taking with her what she's learned about customer service.

"We always had the philosophy if a customer comes in and we don't have it [on the menu], we'll have it the next time they come in," McLarin said.

By opening her own restaurant, McLarin will be following in the steps of her great-grandfather who ran a hot dog and lemonade stand on Pleasure Beach during its amusement park days.

"He did very well there," Benedetto said. "My husband became fascinated by it."

Benedetto and her husband, Stan, own on Main Street. They sold Danny's in 1998. Over the years, the family has owned about seven restaurants in the area.

"You develop a passion for the business and it just doesn't leave you," Benedetto said.

gail jarvis March 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM
A Great Family behind this Great Story. Good Luck and Much Success GailJ
Maureen McLarin March 06, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Thank you Gail!
Maureen McLarin March 06, 2012 at 04:11 PM
We have had a wonderful run at Bun 'N Burger. My mother and I have enjoyed serving our customers and getting to know them. Thank you for having made this a very rewarding experience. We have been fortunate to have been surrounded by wonderful people! There will definitely be a new restaurant opening in the future! Thanks again for your patronage.
Nicole Scott March 06, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I'm so excited for you both! So many great memories from Bun and Burger! You'll be successful in whatever you do. Love you both!!!
max March 06, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Positive energy and very service oriented (and great quality product) business women, sad to see them leave the Green, best wishes to both on their future ventures.
Kip Steele March 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I wanted to say thank you for all of the great memories had there. When we first moved into the neighborhood 8 years ago, we were so welcomed by you. Your constant dedication to the town and the community, from Lacrosse nights to supporting teachers to post Lehman/Bear Sterns/start of the great recession discounts, truly made a mark on my family and many others. The daily waves as we walked our dogs or milkshake orders for us were always met with smiles and a discussion of what is new in town have added so much to the value of Paradise Green. Thank you again for the great memories and we cannot wait for the next endeavor.
Maureen McLarin March 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Thanks Nicole! I did fail to mention the wonderful people we have had the pleasure of working with too! Glad all is going well for you!
Denise Scott March 07, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Good Luck in your future endeavors! We will be looking for you in a new location!
Kevin Stagg March 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I'll miss the hot dogs, my wife will miss the lobster rolls, but most of all we will miss our friends, Norine and Maureen. They are ALWAYS cheerful, and they always seem genuinely grateful for their customers. And who really knows how much money they have given away to local neighborhood charities? Bun & Burger truly has been a "neighborhood joint.". I can't wait to for Maureen's next place!
Hal Baird March 21, 2012 at 01:43 PM
The food was always good there (I especially liked the chili--had a nice "kick" to it) and the people behind the counter were always friendly and accommodating. Good luck, Norine and Maureen in your future endeavors and thanks for your years at Bun 'N Burger.
Maureen McLarin March 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Thanks so much for all of the kind words! My mother and I have been so fortunate to have met so many wonderful people while at Bun 'N Burger. They helped to make everyday enjoyable. We will be opening a new restaurant in the future, and look forward to serving you again. Thank you customers and also Stratford Patch!

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