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Eatery Fills up on Fright This Weekend

Bryce O'Brien, general manager of the Filling Station Company , is looking forward to work this weekend. For the first time since the restaurant opened in March, he'll get to serve its signature burgers with a side of fright.

When All Hallow's Eve rolls around, O'Brien doesn't just slap on a silly cheap costume from a seasonal shop. He sits down, crafts a concept and spends hours transforming himself into something ghoulish. "It's not so much about the costume, it is about the special effects you can do with the makeup," said O'Brien.

Everything he uses this year will be safe for the restaurant and will not interfere with cooking and serving. And while co-owner Nicholas Type said O'Brien won't outright terrify small children, they aren't asking him to hold back, either. O'Brien said, "They told me to go all out, so I'm going to go all out."

As part of the Halloween activities, O'Brien will judge costumes on big and little patrons. Photographs will be taken and the winner will be announced Monday. To the victor go the spoils: in this case, a $50 gift card. Also, during the Halloween Parade, the restaurant will hand out coupons for free milkshakes to participants.

As to O'Brien's costume plans, he remains tight-lipped. He said the beard he has recently grown plays a role but maybe not the entire thing. He's won awards for his costumes in the past and worked at haunted houses. O'Brien promised to use all of the tricks he's learned to deliver a visual treat. "In the past, I've tended toward clowns and zombies," he said before going coyly quiet.

Filling Station Company, 19 South Ave., serves organic burgers and fries along with antibiotic milkshakes. This is the first Halloween event for the business, which launched in March. Type said a second outlet is planned in Fairfield County, with an eye toward Stamford.

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