If you're looking for a casual watering hole complete with line dancing and a steer skull, you won't have to travel south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Former Stamford police officer Dennis Jordhamo has created the classic, log cabin-style saloon right here in Milford - . Pool tournaments and mechanical bull riding with a vast array of libations await you at the 765 Boston Post Road location.
Jordhamo gave Milford Patch a tour of the completely renovated space and shared the story of his success in the Milford community.
What goes into transitioning from police officer to the owner of a saloon?
Jordhamo: I was a cop in Stamford for 19 years until I had a massive heart attack in 2006. So I retired, took a few years off to play Mr. Mom, got bored and I always said I'd open up a bar when I retired. I took over this building in April and, after extensive renovations, we opened at the beginning of June.
We had to get a liquor permits, equipment for a whole new kitchen system, the tap system, a lot of cosmetic work. We rebuilt the exterior deck, it's a country-themed bar so I logged the entire exterior to make it look like a log cabin.
What can people expect during a night out at Mustang Sally's?
Jordhamo: We've got a new deck with outdoor seating and music, pool tables and dart boards inside. I tore up the ground and put in wood floors for line dancing lessons with a DJ and instructor. There's karaoke on Thursday, Friday nights is always live country music, Saturday is live rock n' roll music, there's a mechanical bull every three of four weeks.
There's a 27-foot bar with pretty much anything you can ask for, we'll always have something you want. There's burgers and sandwiches, ribs, gumbo and soup, 18 different flavors of wings with homemade Jack Daniels sauce. We've even got bacon ranch wings with a strip of bacon on them.
How did the country theme come about?
Jordhamo: All I do is country. I always wanted to open a country bar. There's a pretty big country fan base in Connecticut. The name Mustang Sally's - I used to sing karaoke with my buddy's wife when I lived in Florida and every time I was down there, that was sort of our song. Every week we've got different live country bands. The people love it, they come in to listen and dance. It's mostly local bands in the Conn., Mass., N.Y. Area. Branded will play, they play at the casino and the Hard Rock Cafe. Northern Renegade, every time they're just amazing. Now with the rock n' roll, we're making everyone a little happy.
What has been your biggest struggle over the past few months?
Jordhamo: We've had a couple setbacks. The fire next door on Aug. 2 had us closed for 21 days. We opened only to be slammed by Irene on the 28th, which shut us down for five days and ruined pretty much everything in the basement. My house was on the beach in Milford and that got washed away during Irene. I put both cats in suitcases and escaped in waist-deep water. I tried to get away from the stress of an officer, but it's like the words to a country song...except I'm going to play it backwards and get it all back.
It's a nice business though, you meet a lot of nice people. When you deal with people in law enforcement, you're seeing them at their worst. Here, they're pretty happy. They're coming for birthdays and parties.
Are there any upcoming events we should know about?
Jordhamo: There's a big Super Bowl party coming up. We're going to have lot of special giveaways and prizes. St. Patty's is right around the corner. We do happy hour every Thursday and Friday and set up a huge, free buffet for everyone.
There's a wine tasting to benefit the Junior Womens League on March 15, we're donating the building and the food so they can raise money for their organization.
We did a tasting for the cheerleading squad going to Fla. and cancer run benefits. We're going to keep doing stuff like that so we can help in any way we can.