April 27th – May 3rd
This is heaven…Heaven served on a soft bun from an old warming tray and topped, with the flick of a well trained wrist, with chili and a white cheese that is to die for. This is Ben’s Chili Dogs and this is the end of an era. Ben’s will be changing hands this Saturday. Fret not my friends, Jerry, the present owner and the one man who never leaves the helm of this Newport icon, has said that: “nothing will change except there will be smiling faces behind the counter instead of mine!” (editor’s note: he said this with a huge smile on his face and laughing)
Ben’s is truly a place for everyone. Today while I shot pictures outside, waited in a line to the door, and ate my dogs I saw: business men, chimney sweeps, electricians, construction workers, painters, high school kids skipping class, firemen and a beverage consultant from New York City. The electrician and his wife were overheard on their way out saying that this is a Newport staple. I spoke with the beverage consultant, who did not know that Ben’s was changing hands, and she told me that these chili dogs are one of her “guilty pleasures while on Aquidneck Island.”
Jerry said over and over to all the regulars stopping in to get their last dogs under his watch that nothing will change and that he will be there for about a month to oversee the change and to insure everything goes smoothly. Ben’s Chili Dogs (originally named: Tex Barry’s Hotdogs) has been in operation in Newport since 1968. I’m not afraid that things will change that much and I truly believe that Ben’s will last for another 40 years. With that being said, I will still be there on Saturday at noon with a young lady, a couple of puppies and a hankering for a 1.65$ chili dog!