CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WKBW/Release) - Ted’s Hot Dogs officially opened its eighth Western New York location today with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the entrance to its newest store at 3637 Union Road in Cheektowaga.
The event marked the return of the legendary local brand to the same location it occupied for several years during the late 1980’s and early 90’s.
“We’ve come full circle, and we’re thrilled to be back here in Cheektowaga,” said Thecly Ortolani, Vice President of Ted’s Hot Dogs and granddaughter of its founder, Ted Liaros.
“We really missed being here, so when the opportunity presented itself to not only come back to Cheektowaga, but to the same location we had been in previously, we jumped at the chance. We also saw it as a great way to celebrate our 85th year in business.”
Ted’s obtained a lease on the property earlier this year and immediately began to renovate the building, which had most recently been home to a national restaurant chain. As the largest of Ted’s nine locations (including Tempe, Arizona), the new Union Road facility offers a dining area with ample seating for plenty of Ted’s fans.
The décor includes a number of features that make this Ted’s location unique – a partially elevated dining area, a section of counter seating, and a life-sized sculpture of Mr. Ted, the brand’s iconic mascot, poised for a photo opportunity with guests.
Outside, the newest Ted’s has a large covered patio with “seasonal” seating for even more guests.
“We’re very proud of this place,” Ortolani said.
“We saw it as an opportunity to take the dining experience at Ted’s to a new level for our guests, and we feel like we’ve achieved that goal.”
Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony marked the kick-off of the Union Road location’s Grand Opening weekend, which will run through Sunday, November 18.
Planned activities include the unveiling of the Mr. Ted statue today at 11 a.m., a live radio broadcast by Kiss98.5FM on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., a sweepstakes in which Ted’s gift cards valued at $500, $250 and $100 will be awarded to three lucky winners, special appearances by Mr. Ted and give-aways of free Ted’s branded merchandise throughout the weekend.
Ted’s plans to contribute a portion of the proceeds from this weekend’s business to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The opening of the newest Ted’s and another significant milestone - the celebration of the brand’s 85th anniversary - have earned the family-owned and operated business a high honor from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who issued a proclamation designating November 16, 17 and 18th as “Ted’s Hot Dogs Weekend” in Erie County.
The celebration is also being commemorated this evening with the lighting of the Peace Bridge and the Electric Tower in Ted’s signature red and yellow colors.
“We’re humbled to see these Western New York landmarks lit in our colors,” Thecly Ortolani said.
“My dad would be so proud to see all of this,” said Peter Liaros, Co-owner of Teds.
“When he came to this area from Greece, he had nothing. But he had a dream, took a chance and worked incredibly hard to support our family.”
Ted’s Hot Dogs has come a long way since Theodore (Ted) Liaros sold his first charcoal broiled hot dogs out of a shack at the foot of the Peace Bridge in 1927 for 22 cents, a price that included a drink.
“I don’t think even my dad could have imagined that we’d still be going strong 85 years later,” Liaros said.
“We’re so grateful to the generations of folks who’ve embraced Ted’s, and have made us a part of their lives - a real Western New York tradition.”