Norwalk's Dry Dock Cafe Now Rocks on Weekends

Live local bands and dancing add pulse and rhythm to this charbroiled burger haven.


Is your ship in need of a safe harbor?

Let the warm and friendly staff of the haul you in to its convivial haven at 215 Main Street.

With its menu strong on hearty fare, a well-stocked bar and lovely polished wood surroundings, a welcoming vibe beckons.

And starting this weekend, Dry Dock is also featuring live local bands to ramp up the after-dinner pace and bring patrons to their feet dancing.

Kinkslip, a four-member Fairfield-based rock group with sultry singer Paula Gallo, is on the bill for Saturday evening beginning at 10 p.m.

Band leader-keyboardist-songwriter John Lamb, guitarist Scott Williams and drummer Jim Syarto play dance rock from the 70s onward, plus current hits and their own original songs. (Lamb and Williams first played in a band together when both were students at Staples High School in the late ‘70s.)

“We’ll be rocking!” assured Lamb, who hopes his band will fill a first-Saturday-of-the-month slot indefinitely.

Other local bands, including Retro, will appear on Friday and Saturday nights.

The place

Dry Dock’s roomy layout allows for customers at the bar to have conversations even while the music is booming, Lamb said.

“You can have a seat at the bar and not hear music.”

The 85-seat restaurant is going strong as it enters its 38th year.

“We’re a staple in Norwalk,” says an ever-smiling Kim Istona, who’s been a barmaid at Dry Dock for 16 years.

“Everybody knows they’re getting a consistent meal,” she said, including the now-grown-up children of patrons she first served.

Seating is at bar-height tables with shiny green tops accented with gold stripes; bar stools with upholstered seats have concentric circle rings.

Many of the windows have stained-glass with nautical motifs.

At the bar, you can watch five TVs at once, but it’s not just sports.

“We have those who’re attracted to the cooking channel or the news,” said Istona.

The fare

Dry Dock opens at 11:30 a.m., seven days a week, serving lunch, then dinner until 9 p.m. and Sunday brunch until 3 p.m.

Specials of the day are chalked on display. Autumn chili ($6.95), London broil ($9.95) and pork tenderloin ($9.95) are typical offerings.

Most popular are the charcoal broiled sirloin burgers (most are $9.95) with many variations on the theme: mushroom, bleu burger, triple decker cheeseburger, Dijonnaise burger.

There’s also thin-crust pizza (ranging in price from $8.50 for plain to $12.75 for broccoli rabe and sausage, $13.50 for white clam pizza and $15.95 for The Works.

Overstuffed sandwiches and slice sirloin steak wedges are served to satisfy powerful appetites.

Vegetarian and mixed salads and pastas also abound.

Sunday brunch features sports bar faves (Buffalo wings, chili cheese nachos, stuffed potato skins) as well as robust salads and those charbroiled sirloin burgers.

All food selections are available for takeout.

Dry Dock Cafe is located at 215 Main Street in Norwalk. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Live bands perform on weekends beginning at 10 p.m.


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