Stray Dog of New Buffalo to re-open

Nearly a year after the Stray Dog Bar and Grill in New Buffalo burned to the ground, the restaurant is rebuilt and will be opening next week, said Sen. John Proos, who will be attending the grand opening on Thursday.

In July 2012, a fire broke out at the restaurant, located at 245 N. Whittaker St. in New Buffalo. No one was injured, but the building was destroyed.

“New Buffalo and the entire state are lucky to have small business owners, like Leslie and Marc Danesi, who are dedicated to their community,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I look forward to seeing the Stray Dog back in business. As a major destination for Michiganders as well as Chicagoans and located right on the Indiana border, New Buffalo is a great tourist town. I encourage everyone to come see the new Stray Dog, which is just up the street from the beach and beautiful Lake Michigan.”

Although the numbers fluctuate with the seasons, the restaurant employs an average of 140 residents at any one time.

“The Stray Dog has been providing fun, friendly, family dining and lively night life entertainment for more than a decade. We love our customers and the community, so there was no doubt that we were going to rebuild,” said Leslie Danesi, who owns the restaurant with husband Marc. “We reached out to Senator Proos when we were having a difficult time getting a new liquor license. Thanks to the efforts of the senator and his staff, we got the new liquor license we needed to open.”

The Stray Dog Bar and Grill had been waiting for a new liquor license since April.

“My job is to help my constituents in any way I can, and in this case the process wasn’t working fast enough,” Proos said. “I am happy to see that the Stray Dog received the license they needed to open before missing the critical summer tourist season. While it would have been easy to walk away, they showed their commitment to Southwest Michigan, and I wish them all the best.”

Proos said he will be attending the Stray Dog Bar and Grill’s grand opening, which is planned for Thursday, June 27 at noon. For more information about the Stray Dog, call the restaurant at (269) 469-2727 or visit their website at


Editor’s Note — Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”