New owners have big plans for legendary Taunton hot dog joint
Charles Winokoor|Taunton Gazette
Jason Ahaesy, left, and Krystle MacGibbon have bought Taunton's Tex Barry's Coney Island Hot Dogs from Tony Medeiros, right.
A Taunton hot dog business with Fall River roots dating back nearly 45 years is moving onward and upward.
Tex Barry’s Coney Island Hot Dogs at 15 Main St. is not only under new ownership, its hours have been extended and its menu expanded.
Fall River native Tony Medeiros sold the business to Jason Ahaesy, a Dighton resident originally from the Spindle City, and Ahaesy’s fiancee, Krystle MacGibbon.
MacGibbon’s dad, Michael, who provided financing, is listed as a partner but won’t be involved in day-to-day operations.
According to Ahaesy and Medeiros, Tex Barry was a professional race-car driver and Fall River native named Tony Costa.
Along with brothers Arthur and Joseph, Costa at one time owned 12 Coney Island hot dog franchise shops — the first of which, Ahaesy said, was established near Newport’s naval base.
The last two remaining businesses bearing the Tex Barry moniker, Ahaesy said, is Taunton’s downtown shop with its 21-stool seating capacity and an Attleboro diner operation.
Ahaesy, 39, said he dares not alter the original Medeiros coney sauce, which he said consists of finely ground beef and “a bunch of seasonings.” The hot dog buns, he said, will still come from Fall River’s Gold Medal Bakery.
Ahaesy said he’ll continue buying the pork-and-chicken hot dogs from the same West Bridgewater butcher and will retain other menu staples like burgers and chourico rolls.
But he’s added daily soups, and his fiancee has been baking cookies and brownies, and plans to try her hand at her own version of a whoopie pie.
They’re also considering cold sandwiches, salads and eventually soft ice cream, which was sold at the Taunton Tex Barry’s years ago.
Ahaesy said he’s even considering finding a supplier for Kosher franks, which are all-beef and cost more than the average dog, but are known for their hearty flavor.
The couple said they might eventually offer delivery to businesses downtown.
Ahaesy said he’s been cooking since he was around 14, when he landed a job at Mel’s Diner in Raynham, which at the time was owned by an aunt. He spent the past 12 years at Taunton’s Pub 76 on Weir Street, where he was head cook.
He also tried his hand at managing a Smokey Bones and Applebees, but he said the corporate life didn’t suit his personality.
“It’s a little different,” Ahaesy said. “I like seeing the satisfaction people get from what I cook.”
Meanwhile, MacGibbon, 32, still works part-time as a machinist at STD Precision Gear in West Bridgewater.
The couple have already changed hours of operation. Instead of closing at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, they’re open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.