Joe Marini and Dom Delfino want to remind Greenwich residents to shop local this holiday season and throughout the pandemic to keep small businesses afloat.
The two longtime friends who both own restaurants in Cos Cob – with Marini running Chicken Joe’s for 28 years and Delfino running Joey B’s for 12.
“It’s not about us,” Delfino said. “I’m not just talking about supporting Joey B’s and Chicken Joe’s. I’m talking about supporting all the small businesses.”
“Don’t forget the little guys,” said Marini whose hair, beard and even his eyebrows are still bleached from him playing Santa two weeks ago.
“The little guys always have their checkbooks open,” Delfino said.
“There’s not one ad we don’t take out for the sports at the high school,” said Marini, who also gives multiple annual scholarships to GHS student athletes.
Delfino is known for monthly events where he invites in GHS sports teams or clubs like YNET who raise awareness of teen dating violence to use his restaurant for fundraisers.
The students wait on customers , and afterward, Delfino donates a portion of the proceeds to their booster club.
He also hosted Thank a Cop Day for several years.
Both Marini and Delfino invested heavily in order to reopen their doors.
Both restaurants have made changes to adapt to Covid, including installing plexiglass partitions and hand sanitizing stations.
Marini eliminated his seating.
Delfino, who has a long counter and a row of stools, and is now operating at reduced capacity per the Governor’s executive order, installed an outdoor tent.
More recently he said he purchased an Air Scrubber by Aerus for Joey B’s and had it installed by Accu Temp HVAC Inc. The machine eliminates 99.9% of Airbone SARS-CoV-2 Virus.
“It kills Covid,” he said. “People can feel comfortable coming in.”
“My space is in and out,” Marini said, pointing to the one way pass-through for take out at Chicken Joe’s.
He said he took all the advice of the health department before he reopened his doors, including putting hand sanitizer stations at the entrance exit, and installing a plexiglass divider between customers and staff.
“They give you a list. You do it. The seats are gone. Everything’s to go,” he said. “We are hurting though. We’re off 40%. We’ve got no catering. All our parties and school events are canceled. Weddings are postponed until next year.”
During the first eight months of the pandemic, Marini said he operated strictly through a small pick up window and wiped down customers’ credit cards.
“Nobody wants to get sick,” he said. “Nobody wants to go through this.”
Delfino, who said he benefited from having outdoor seating during the pandemic, said he also has a one-way pass through for customers.
“You go in one door and out the other,” he said. “And, if you don’t feel comfortable coming inside, call us, give us your credit card and we’ll bring it out to you.”
“We do that too,” Marini said. “There’s a lot of people who call me and ask, ‘Can you bring it out?’ Absolutely. Not a problem.”
Both Marini and Delfino said they’re very grateful to their regular customers who have sustained them during the pandemic.
Both restaurants sell gift cards, which make a great last minute holiday gift!
Mark Marullo of Marullo Brothers, a local company that specializes in indoor and outdoor painting, arrived with his son John for take out from Chicken Joe’s during our inteview.
“Joe and Dom have to be the two nicest gentlemen in town,” Marullo said. “Plus, they’re both generous – they help out all the people in town, including my organization, the Umbrella Club of Fairfield County.“
Both Marini and Delfino said in addition to their loyal customers, they were both very grateful to their staff.
“Thumbs up to all my employees,” Delfino said. “They’re frontline workers.”
Joey B’s is located at 118 River Rd. Ext in Cos Cob, CT 06807.
Tel. 203 661-0573