OSWEGO TOWN, NY – Rudy’s welcomed back dozens of its closest friends on Wednesday.
Even though the calendar says the vernal equinox won’t take place until next week, local residents know better. Spring returns when the historic little restaurant nestled on the shore of Lake Ontario at The Loop throws open its doors.
This year, customers were greeted with mild weather, with the promise of even warmer weather in store for the weekend.
Cars began lining up in front of the eatery shortly before its scheduled 10 a.m. opening.
The first patrons to place an oder this season were Gabrielle Corwin and Grant Davis.
“This is the first time we’ve been the very first,” she exclaimed. “We weren’t able to make (opening day) last year.”
In previous years, they have come as a larger group of friends on opening day shortly after Rudy’s opens, she explained.
“I love the clam strips,” she said, quickly adding, “and, the lobsters bites!”
Davis said his favorites are the mozzeralla sticks,
Not long afterward, the parking lot resembled a hot August night, with vehicles parked out front and stretching along the lakeshore.
Patrons, hungry to shake off the winter doldrums with some summer fare, placed their orders of French fries, fish, Texas hots and other items as the counter staff shouted the orders back to the cooks.
Most ate their meals inside while others carried their food in cardboard trays out to their vehicles. A couple ventured outside to dine at one of the picnic tables overlooking the waves on Lake Ontario.
The restaurant goes through about 30 to 50 cases of its famous Texas hot sauce during the first week they open each year, according to Jason Livesey, general manager.
“I was ready to get going about two months ago,” he told Oswego County Today. “The weather has been just great this year. I’m pretty excited; the weather is beautiful for the opening.”
He describes the lakeside landmark as a social area and entertainment as well as great food. Not much has been changed for the new season, he added.
“I’m glad to see so many people here today. on opening day. It’s a tradition for so many people to be here on opening day, and the rest of the season as well,” he said. “And we really enjoy it, too. A lot of our friends come back every year and we like seeing them and catching up with them.”
Rudy’s was opened in 1946 by Marie and Rudy Gadziala. It began as an open-air stand, later expanding and adding indoor seating.
Rudy’s second cousin, Brad Livesey with his wife, Carol (Jason’s parents), bought the restaurant when Gadziala died in 1976.
Brad and Carol began working at Rudy’s in 1960; Brad died in July of 2005.
Jason credits the success of the business to its staff and many loyal customers.
For more information, visit http://rudyshot.com/