SCHENECTADY — Passerby may have noticed a stretch of Erie Boulevard is shining brighter recently.
One year after a tree fell on the Mike’s Hot Dogs sign during a severe thunderstorm, the iconic display is back.
Workers completed installation on Saturday.
Despite being smashed, some parts of the 73-year-old sign managed to be salvaged.
“Some parts couldn’t be saved,” said owner John Mantis.
The unit was repaired by Amsterdam-based Adirondack Neon and has been upgraded with LED lights.
Some elements remain the same, including the declaration that their frankfurters are the “finest ever made!” and that customers can expect “first prize HOTS with our sauce.”
Mantis put costs at upwards of $20,000, not an insignificant sum as the restaurant attempts to claw its way back from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re fighting our way back,” said Mantis as two cops ambled up to the counter and sat down between the movable fiberglass partitions erected along the lunch counter designed to keep customers apart.
Restaurants reopened for dine-in serve in mid-June, but with a 50 percent of maximum allowed capacity.
While patrons were initially hesitant to eat indoors, people are starting to get their courage back, Mantis said.
“Trying to gain peoples’ trust back is difficult,” Mantis said. “Everyone is afraid.”