After 86 years in Bethlehem, Pete's Hot Dog Shop closes Wednesday
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — On Wednesday, March 15, after 86 years in Bethlehem, Pete's Hot Dog Shop will serve its last meal.
The building, at 400 Broadway, has been sold to a developer.
- Pete's Hot Dog Shop, after 86 years in business, will close for good at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The building has been sold
- Effie Ramirez's father, John Mamounas, bought it in 1988. Ramirez has worked behind the counter for more than 20 years
- She said she will miss the community and watching the neighborhood children grow up
Effie Ramirez, the daughter of the current owner, is the main operator of the front end of the business.
Her father, John Mamounas, bought the restaurant in 1988 from Teddy Kourpas, whose uncle Pete Kourpas founded the business in South Bethlehem in 1937.
Ramirez has worked there, in different capacities, for more than 20 years.
On Tuesday, she said she's grateful to the community that has supported the business.
"I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for coming and patronizing our business for the last 35 years. Thank you for watching my children grow up. I and I enjoyed watching your children grow up. Just, thank you for everything."Ellie Ramirez, Pete's Hot Dog Shop operator and daughter of owner
"I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for coming and patronizing our business for the last 35 years," she said.
"Thank you for watching my children grow up. And I enjoyed watching your children grow up. Just, thank you for everything."
While hot dogs, as its name suggests, was the eatery's main offering, it also served cheesesteaks, hamburgers, fish sandwiches, Italian sausage and gyros — along with chicken wings, chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches.
From 7-11 a.m. every morning, it also served breakfast: eggs with ham, bacon and sausage, French toast and omelets, and even breakfast sandwiches.
Ramirez said Pete's has served as a tradition for many families in the Lehigh Valley.
"The parents coming in with their kids after school activities and stuff — watching the children grow up," Ramirez said.
"There's a lot of them. Lots of kids after basketball games, after hitting home runs at baseball games, coming in after church confirmations ... there's too many to mention."
After Ramirez said that, she went behind the counter and rang up an older gentleman's order. He reached over the counter and patted her on the shoulder and thanked her — appearing to be a regular customer who will miss the place.
Ramirez said as sad as she is to see the shop close, she is ready for a next chapter.
"Probably not something in the food industry," she said with a laugh. "It's tough on the body."