The words “hot dog” are synonymous with “New Way Lunch” in the Glens Falls area, and it’s been that way for a long time. The legendary hot dog restaurant, known for their signature meat sauce on the dogs, is gearing up to celebrate their 100th birthday this August.
We chatted with the New Way Lunch family to find out what guests can look forward to at their epic celebration coming up (there’s going to be a hot dog eating contest!) and what we can expect from the restaurant as they look ahead to the next 100 years.
Celebrate 100 Years of New Way Lunch on August 3rd
Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun
The 100th Anniversary Party is on Saturday, August 3rd at the South Street Pavilion where the Glens Falls Farmers Market takes place; this is also right next to New Way Lunch’s Glens Falls location.
This is an event for the whole family, so bring the kids out! Not only are hot dogs a kid-friendly food – and there will be specials on hot dogs – but they’ll also have children’s activities like face painting and a bouncy house. Local band East End Boys will provide the entertainment.
Enter the Hot Dog Eating Contest
Has it been a long-time dream of yours to enter and win a food eating contest? If so, it’s your time to shine!
The hog dog eating contest at the anniversary party is exactly what it sounds – competitors have to eat as many hot dogs as they can in one sitting. The rules dictate you must have the full works on the hot dogs (meat sauce, onions, and mustard), you must eat the buns, and while you can have a beverage of your choice for the contest you cannot dunk the dogs into any liquid. Participants must be 18 or older.
First place prize is $500 cash, second place is four $50 gift cards, and third place is two $50 gift cards.
Don’t wait to register – only 10 lucky fans will be chosen! Participants will be selected by June 3rd.
Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken: A Local Favorite for 100 Years & Counting
How the Legendary Restaurant Got Started
New Way Lunch was founded by Greek immigrant John Floro in August of 1919 in Glens Falls. The restaurant has survived The Great Depression and other lows and highs throughout the century.
The original location in Glens Falls was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allowed blue collar employees who worked odd hours to have somewhere to go for a hot meal.
John, his wife Mary, and his brother-in-law James all worked at the restaurant along with other family members and friends. Many direct descendants of John and Mary have worked at the business throughout its legacy.
John’s grandson, Peter Gazetos, along with his wife Susan took over the business in 1990. Today, they work with their children Nicholas and Alexandria (Ali), who will become the fourth generation to take over the business.
It’s All About the Hot Dogs
The hot dogs New Way Lunch is famous for (known locally as “dirt dogs”) comprise of a grilled hot dog on a freshly steamed bun with mustard, diced onions, and their incredible meat sauce. This mouthwatering signature sauce has become so popular with locals and visitors that customers freeze and ship the hot dogs to loved ones across the country.
Although the hot dogs are the crown jewel of New Way Lunch, it should be noted they have a full menu of delicious items like burgers, sandwiches, fries, and salads. And, they sell breakfast at their Warrensburg location.
Help New Way Get Rachael Ray to the Party!
Did you know? Food Network celebrity Rachael Ray has roots in the Glens Falls area, having grown up in Lake Luzerne.
She mentions New Way Lunch on her website with a recipe for Classic Coney Island Hot Dogs, where she says, “When I was in high school, we loved this place called New Way Lunch. They sold Dirty John’s Dirt Dogs. These dogs have been a constant inspiration whenever I write a recipe for chili dogs, hot dogs, or chili with dogs in it.”
New Way Lunch is campaigning to get Rachael Ray to join the big party on August 3rd, and you can help by reaching out on social media or emailing.
Expansions & Upgrades for New Way Lunch
When asked what significant changes the restaurant has had over their 100-year legacy, Ali answered, “Just the expansions. We’ve tried to keep everything as similar as we can to how it used to be. We have 90-year old guys sit down and say it tastes the same.”
Indeed, the expansions are the biggest, and perhaps only, change New Way Lunch has made over the years. Today you can visit New Way Lunch in Glens Falls, Queensbury, and Warrensburg. The Queensbury restaurant opened in 1998, and Warrensburg in 2011.
What We Can Expect From the Future of New Way Lunch
Ali and her brother Nicholas are slowly taking on more responsibilities each year as they prepare to eventually take the business over from their parents. There’s no specific date yet for the official takeover; Peter and Susan will likely work alongside their children until they can’t anymore.
In keeping with New Way Lunch tradition, the fourth generation isn’t planning on changing much – certainly not the hot dogs! There are no current plans for a fourth location, although Ali and Nicholas say, “never say never!” For now, they have their hands full keeping the legend alive at the three locations.
We’ll be able to look forward to craveable hot dogs and homestyle service from New Way Lunch for many years to come.