GLENS FALLS --New Way Lunch, Hot Dog John's, John's Hots, Dirty John's. Each generation has its name for New Way Lunch and its legendary hot dogs. Despite the fact that the smell sticks with you and your car's interior like glue, New Way Lunch hasn't changed its recipe in more than 90 years, according to third-generation owner Peter Gazetos.
Gazetos' father, John Floros, was an Italian immigrant from "The Old Country." He founded New Way Lunch in 1919 on South Street, where it has remained ever since.
The Glen Street New Way Lunch location - run by Peter's wife, Susan - opened 1998. In 2006, the South Street location moved across the street to its current location next to the Empire Theater building. Otherwise, things have remained very much the same at New Way Lunch.
ADK Talk caught up with Gazetos for this week's Give Me 5:
ADK Talk: Where did the name "Dirty John's" come from?
Gazetos: My parents' generation would have called it "Hot Dog John's," not "Dirty John's." The term "Dirty John's" was coined sometime during the '60s. But originally they used to call it "John The Hot Dogs," "Hot Dog John's," or "John The Hots." You gotta remember, we've been in business a long time and the nicknames change.
ADK Talk: Which New Way Lunch location is busiest, the South
Street location or the Glen Street location?
Gazetos: The Queensbury (Glen Street) store is busier than downtown Glens Falls. Originally, the South Street location was busier. When I worked a night shift during the '80s and the drinking age was 18, South Street was a booming place. ... We're trying to cultivate the night shift again and hopefully it will come back once they get South Street done.
ADK Talk: Did you get the chance to speak with U.S. Sen. Charles
Schumer when he stopped at New Way Lunch during his South Street visit (on Jan. 7)?
Gazetos: Absolutely. We talked about how the economy was, and how bad business was and things would hopefully get better. I was appreciative that he could find the funds we could get the infrastructure completed on South Street. It's a positive and it benefits my business.
ADK Talk: What are your feelings about the Madden Hotel?
Gazetos: I think that something should be done about it. Not only is it an eyesore, but all it does is breed negative connotations for South Street. Meanwhile, most business owners keep their businesses up and work hard to stay in business.
ADK Talk: What are your plans for the future.
Gazetos: We're going to the outside of the building next year -- new awnings, stucco, outdoor seating
and redo the parking lot, which will be the last phase of the project here. This building was in disrepair when I bought it. So, hopefully, we'll have that done in the spring. ... My son (Nicholas, 19, attends Castleton State College in Vermont) and daughter (Ali, senior at Queensbury High School) have shown some interest in carrying on the business.