OSWEGO TOWN, NY – Many of the first customers at Rudy’s on Wednesday sported winter jackets and hats instead of shorts and T-shirts.
Despite the arrival of Spring last week, winter refuses to relinquish its grip on the area.
However, local residents know that Spring really returns as soon as the historic little restaurant nestled on the shore of Lake Ontario at The Loop throws open its doors.
Originally, Rudy’s was planning to open March 11 but the snow and cold was just too overwhelming at the time so things were postponed.
About a dozen cars lined up in front of the eatery shortly before its scheduled 10 a.m. opening. Within the next few minutes, nearly a dozen patrons had been served.Kiersten Clancy, Mariah Pitcher and Corby Rowe walked in right at 10 a.m.
“It’s the first time we’ve been first,” Kiersten said. “Usually there are a lot of people already here. This is our first time walking in first.”
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Mariah said. “We like to come here a lot during the summer.”
Usually, they enjoy sitting by the water. However, Wednesday, they opted to eat inside for a change.
After the initial rush, there was a brief lull until the lunch crowd braved the chilly weather.
Lines at the counter were three deep at times. The lines didn’t last long as 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, who unfailingly memorized the orders and cooked each to perfection within minutes.
Almost everyone ate their meals inside. Some carried their food in cardboard trays out to their vehicles.
Nobody dined at one of the picnic tables overlooking the frozen waves on Lake Ontario. Signs were posted all around warning patrons to stay off the ice.
Urban legend holds that if a “tardy” high school student returns with some Rudy’s fare for their teachers, they won’t be marked absent. However, no high schoolers were observed this year.
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/ or visit them on Facebook.