BRANFORD — It took a little longer than expected, but The Stand restaurant and watering hole is back open in Indian Neck under new ownership.
Just under eight months after the closure of The Stand, the funky, offbeat barbecue joint and live music bar that Greg Nobile and Eamon Roche first opened in a former gas station in 2015, new owners Chris Candido, Rob Kauffman, Ted Cwiertniewicz and Kevin O’Neil have it back up and running.
“We’re very happy to come to Branford and we love our neighbors in Indian Neck,” said Candido, previously a partner in New Haven’s Temple Grill.
The Stand, take two, looks about the same — the same funky, retro roadside roadhouse decore — and will continue to feature live music.
But the menu has broadened a bit, from the farm-to-table southern barbecue that The Stand originally aspired to, to something a little more well-rounded.
And there is a full waitstaff — and TVs mounted on the walls, with sports in mind, that weren’t there before.
Barbecue pulled pork remains. But it is joined these days by an array of salads, burgers, grilled sandwiches, apps and sides — including a “loaded cauliflower bomb” topped with bacon, cheddar, sour cream and chives.
The Stand, located at 196 S. Montowese St., across the street from Lenny’s Indian Head Inn and just up the road from Nobile and Roche’s other funky joint, The Friki Tiki, also features an assortment of wines, craft beers and cocktails.
It’s now open every day at 5 p.m. for dinner, as well as for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It can be found at www.thestandbranford.com, or reached by phone at 203-433-4728.
The Stand II, like it’s predecessor, moves forward the “farming and garage” concept that the onetime owners of what years ago was the Indian Neck Garage, Mike and Sue Beatty, first established. Bob and Frances Beatty were the garage’s original owners.
“We’re serving an American menu that has sharable-sized appetizers, entrees, sandwiches and burgers and salads,” said Candido.
“We have kept the barbecue in mind with the menu, so it has a little bit of a southern flare,” Candido said. “We’re maintaining the property the same. We have the outdoor dining with the patio and we have the bands.
“Because of our timing, we did miss the growing season to operate the fruit and vegetable stands, but that is in the plan for next season,” he said.
The new owners spell out what they hope to be on The Stand’s new website:
“The Indian Neck community is the perfect location to bring all of Branford, and surrounding areas together,” the message reads. “On this wonderful corner a gas station was a thriving business in its prime. Terrific stories about the garage are abundant as we construct.
“Then owner Bob Beatty envisioned a farming component and brought it to fruition. People came from everywhere to support this dual functioning business,” it continues.
“It was a perfect parcel to continue the farming dream.
“A couple of local visionaries, Greg and Eamon, then set the stage for a wonderful transition to a roadside BBQ,” the message states. “Many factors made customers smile for the past several years. … There was great food, outdoor comradery, musical celebrations, local produce and scrumptious brunches.”
Under the new owners, “Our plan is to honor the past and continue the legacy,” the new owners say, urging people to “stop by anytime and have a chat.”