Nathan’s Expects Smaller Storefront for 2013 Re-Opening

Though the dogs are still widely available, the iconic dog house closed for good in November.

Dog-Gone It!

Nathan’s Famous shuts its doors after 47 years.

Nostalgia is a beautiful thing. It’s embodied in the songs of Bruce Springsteen, who sings about steamy summer nights of yore down by the river; in the sour taste of the Tang that twisted your lips long before tequila; and, for those who grew up in Westchester County, in the sounds of blinging arcade games inside the 10,000-square-foot Nathan’s Famous on Central Avenue in Yonkers. Sadly, like many good things, Nathan’s has come to an end—sort of.

On Sunday, November 25, the iconic, freestanding Nathan’s—opened in 1965 as an offshoot of Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker’s original Coney Island boardwalk stand of 1916—officially closed its doors to customers in preparation for demolition. Nathan’s President Wayne Norbitz says he expects a smaller storefront to re-open in late 2013 alongside a strip of other new businesses, including a CVS.

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The place still holds significant memories, like those of longtime Bronxville resident Sean McLaughlin, who says it’s where he learned to drive. “My sister is thirteen years older than me,” he says. “She would come home from college to babysit and we’d go to the movies and then to Nathan’s.” (McLaughlin remembers how the parking lot emptied itself by 7 pm when the other stores closed.) When McLaughlin was about 7, he recalls, “My sister’s boyfriend would put me on his lap and let me drive around the lot in his really crappy 1970s two-door Chevrolet.”

For now, to find the beef dog that FDR served to the King of England, McLaughlin and others can head to Playland (when it’s open), The Westchester or The Galleria malls, one of the more than 500 Regal Cinemas nationwide that sell them (the closest to the Central Avenue spot is the Cross County Multiplex in Yonkers), or any Sunoco convenience store in the Northeast.             

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