Bruce Famiglio’s Flying Dog Cafe
The Flying Dog is a name synonymous with Blues Jams, Great Food and Friends…and of course, Bruce Famiglio, the guru of mixing music with food and personalities and creating the perfect recipe for fun.
I came to the Flying Dog for the first time over a year ago. I had heard about it non-stop from my friend, and here I was, finally entering into the “Dog Sanctum”. I was busy checking out all the crazy stuff hanging from the ceiling, all the dog paraphernalia , and the very laid back atmosphere, when I began to meet all the regulars…Phil Fayette, Carolyn Fayette, Yo Vinnie, Randy Friese, and so many others. Let me not forget Phil the Hat, Panama Pete, Manhattan Mike, and all the jam people whose names would fill this page.
Interestingly enough, Bruce had been in very different lines of work before the Flying Dog came to be. Graduating from Widener University in West Chester, Pa.with a degree in Business, Bruce went right into real estate at age 21, having already earned his Real Estate Broker’s license. He continued and advanced for the next 25 years in Real Estate and then two things happened- it lost all its magic, and the economy came crashing down and Bruce began to have to make decisions to go in a different direction, entirely.
The food business had a strong calling on Bruce’s heart. He’s extremely sociable, would help anyone who needed it, and wanted to be around people in an atmosphere that included coffee and conversation. He started with one coffee cafe, and gradually opened two more – so he had one in Downingtown Pa., one in Malvern Pa., and one in Westchester. He called them the Lincoln Coffee Exchanges, and the reason for that is interesting. He got up, went into the back of the restaurant and pulled a frame off the wall that was all about his idol, Abraham Lincoln. He pointed out to me the list of things Lincoln had not succeeded at, but kept persevering, nevertheless. It’s that perseverance that made Lincoln a great president, and its Bruce’s refusal to give up that makes him a person of character, a good host, and an unusual person in a world filled with undesirables.
Bruce has had the Flying Dog Café for 8 years. He tells me that on the present site where there are two buildings strongly resembling airplane hangars, there had been nothing but a flat dirt field, and that with his brother Mark Famiglio, they built the two buildings, 500 and 600 Tallevast Rd., and filled them with offices, businesses, and the Flying Dog Café. This is a bistro; it’s a laid back hangout for business people and musicians; it’s like putting on your old comfortable slippers and feeling really groovy.
Serving 15 kinds of beer, many different wines, and a long menu list of comfort food and deli sandwiches, (let’s not forget the award-winning chili, soups, soft drinks and cappuccino), the menu is perfect for the place. I know I’m leaving some important items out, but log onto www.theflyingdogcafe.com and you will see the whole menu. Open Thursday nights for the famous Blues Jams, started by Carolyn Davis and Bruce, they draw a huge crowd of onlookers, players and singers. Very cool. Lunch hours are always busy but the kitchen is also always open at night to accommodate the appetites of the thirsty and hungry. Bruce makes a Reuben sandwich that is to die for, and we all have our favorites on the menu. There is always live music on Friday nights.
The big news, though, is that the Flying Dog Café is moving to the Orange Blossom shopping center at 419 Cortez Road, where there will be so much more space to spread out, and the addition of pizza and pasta will be added to the menu. A place that offers its own sound system, lights and a great stage is really ahead of the game. It’s MADE for great entertainment. But this is going to be a Cheers type place…you’ll never meet a stranger and your time there will be relaxing, exciting and you’ll be eating a great variety of food from the usual deli fare to Pizza, pasta and more. Tom McKnight is directing the music and will be in charge of bringing in entertainment. A take-out menu will be available and Bruce is getting a liquor license so that all of you who prefer mixed drinks and specialty liquors will be happy to have your choice of libations.
Bruce is a family man. His twin daughters Sophia and Julianna are the center of his universe. He is so proud of their violin lessons, gymnastics and dance abilities, that he does the usual amount of bragging that fathers love to do. Amber, his manager who’s been with him since day 1, will be heading up the staff as manager. Amber is everyone’s favorite, putting miles on her Nikes every night and making sure everyone is happy. Bruce likes the family feeling he gets when he knows his clientele is comfortable, well-fed and loving the music. It’s why he keeps doing this. Come on out in May to the grand opening. We don’t have the exact date as of yet, but big progress is being made on transforming the new location into the kind of place you want to go.
We’ll keep you posted on the opening date and we wish Bruce all the very best blessings and success in his new place! 7/27/2013……OPENING DAY IS GETTING CLOSER!