How many dirt dog fans out there?! We were thrilled to catch up with the Gazetos Family to chat about their remarkable achievement of 100 years in business at New Way Lunch. Read on as they share what has changed (and stayed the same!) over the years, what the future holds, and get the scoop on their 100th Anniversary Party this Saturday, August 3rd!
100 Years in Business - that’s amazing and so rare! What would you say has been the secret to maintaining such a long run?
Our family has kept it simple over the 100 years, a consistent product with great service. We believe that is the key to our success.
What has changed over the years? What’s stayed the same?
We have expanded our menu and added more locations over the years. But our commitment to our roots, being our hotdogs, has stayed the same. You always have to remember what got you to where you are today.
Your founder, John Floro would be so proud… What do you think he would make of restaurant industry nowadays?
It’s so much different now! I am not sure what he would think, but he created a great legacy for our family and would be very proud.
The restaurant business isn’t always easy… any challenges over the years? How did you overcome them?
There are challenges every day, I just tell my children to take it one day at a time. And that’s what we do, we work hard and just keep plugging along.
What first brought your family to the region? What’s kept you here?
My grandfather, John, traveled around the state. He went to a few small cities, came across Glens Falls and decided to move his wife and two children at the time here. So our family has been in the area ever since. We have loved raising our kids here, it’s great!
You’ve got three locations… where was your first? When did they open respectively?
The first was on South Street in Glens Falls, opening in 1919. Susan and I opened the Queensbury location in in 1998 and lastly our Warrensburg location in 2012.
What do you think your customers love the most about New Way?
I think people really enjoy the old school atmosphere. You know, we don’t change much, and I hear customers say I haven’t been here in 10 years and everything’s the same! People really like that, and of course our service, we are lucky to have great help and that goes a long way.
What do you love most about your customers?
We have the best customers; we are lucky to have a lot of regulars that keep us going! I would say I love their loyalty most.
What do you love the most about living in the area?
My family has always lived in the Glens Falls area, we love being close to the ADKs and Lake George. Glens Falls is very up and coming now, there is a lot going on downtown and it’s very exciting to watch the city develop. You know we have seen it go through a lot of up and downs through the years. But there is no question Glens Falls is having a re-birth.
Let’s talk about the family aspect of the business… What do you think is the biggest advantage of being a family run business? Are there any challenges that come along with it?
It’s great to have your family by your side when in business! You always have someone to trust and who you know will work hard alongside you. My wife and kids have done a tremendous job. I am very proud. For us we are so used to working together we don’t have many challenges in that aspect of business.
How about the famous dirt dogs… what do you think makes them so popular?
It’s really the combination of everything that make our hot dogs so great. The steamed roll, with our custom pork and beef blend hotdog, topped with yellow mustard, freshly chopped onions, and our homemade meat sauce. The meat sauce is really the standout though, it’s what we are known for.
How long have they been on the menu?
All 100 years of course. For a long time, it was just hotdogs and beverages.
We know it’s secret… but has the meat sauce changed over the years? How many years have you used the same recipe?
The sauce has never changed and never will. It has been passed down through the generations. Each family member makes the sauce in each of the locations and we take great pride in it.
What are some of your other most popular items on the menu?
Our cheese fries have become very popular and our onion rings. We are also known for our Greek salads.
Has the menu changed much over the years? Any plans for even more great options?
The menu greatly expanded when we opened the Queensbury location. The Warrensburg location also serves breakfast. We add things now and again, but there aren’t any immediate plans for any major menu changes.
With 100 years under your belt, what does the future hold?
We are going to just keep doing what we are doing. As a family we feel so lucky to have made it this far.
What do you think will get you through the next 100 years?
The same thing that got us through the first 100 years, it’s truly a labor of love for us.
If you could offer any bit of advice to a young restaurateur, what would it be?
It’s a rewarding business to be in. But you have to really love it, it’s a lot of work!
Tell us a bit about your 100th Anniversary Party this coming Saturday!
Our 100 year celebration is really a party to celebrate our customers. We could not have done it without them! It’s going to be a true block party, with activities for children, live music, and of course lots of hot dogs. We are having our hotdog eating contest at 4:30pm, and that should really be fun, we are looking forward to it.
Grab all the details for the party here.