216 Crown Street, the site of a store specializing in the Japanese dessert of mochi, will soon be replaced by a new eatery.
The Mochi Store, which sold Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream from Hawaii, closed this month and will be replaced by Jake’s Diggity Dogs. Though the owners have shifted for weeks, the menu changed only this last week, and will continue to sell the Hawaii-imported mochi ice cream, in addition to foot-long hot dogs. The hot dog eatery had its opening day Thursday.
Jeff “Jake” Russell, the owner of Jake’s Diggity Dogs, said after doing catering for different events for a few years, he began to search for a permanent home for his hot dog recipe creations.
“Harrison [the owner of the Mochi Store] was looking to get into the wholesale of the mochi and to develop new accounts in the New England area instead of working in retail. It was a perfect match. We were looking for a small place to do the dogs and I love the ice cream,” Russell said.
Tony Scott ’17, who discovered the Mochi Store on a trip to the Salvation Army on Crown, said he would be sad to see the store go, but is happy that Jake’s Diggity Dogs will continue to sell the dessert.
“As long as the mochi is the same, I’d still go there for mochi and perhaps get a hot dog too,” Scott said. “Where do you get a hot dog in New Haven, anyway?”
Russell agrees that New Haven residents who frequented the Mochi Store should not be worried about the change in the menu. “The Mochi Store has gone nowhere, we just added the hot dogs,” Russell said.
Jake’s Diggity Dogs is not Russell’s first business in the New Haven area. In 2010, he and his mother sold the Costume Bazaar, a family business that sold and rented costumes in the New Haven area for decades.
Russell is excited to be back in the area he called home for so many years. “We’re thrilled to be back in New Haven,” Russell said. “I was in New Haven 31 years for the [costume] business, and it’s nice to be back at the heart of a thriving area.”