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Fort Lee's Callahan's Serves Up Hot Dogs, Nostalgia In Return To Borough

Jocelyn Chkzanowski and her grandmother, Elizabeth Wall – both of Fairview – were glad to see Callahan's "back in the neighborhood." Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
What owner Leonard Castrianni called a "typical day" at Callahan's since it opened Photo Credit: Courtesy: Callahan's
"She's the boss," Leonard Castrianni said of his mother, Ida Photo Credit: COURTESY: Callahan's
Callahan's is located on Anderson Avenue across from the community center Photo Credit: Courtesy: Callahan's
Margot Dinkjian of Fort Lee and Diane Tavition of Waldwick picked up hot dogs before heading to the beach Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Co-owner Greg Pappas cooking "Super Dogs" – one pound hot dogs from Union Pork Store in Union Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Greg Pappas takes a break from the kitchen to pose with Scott, a Verizon employee on his lunch break Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Callahan's attracts customers from Fort Lee and beyond Photo Credit: Courtesy: Callahan's
The Italian Dog, sweet potato fries, and the Fort Lee Burger have been top sellers, owner Leonard Castrianni said. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
"The hot dog is great," said Scott, a Verizon worker on his lunch break Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

FORT LEE, N.J.– Margot Dinkjian and Diane Tavition wanted something to hold them over on the way to the beach, so the ladies stopped at the newly opened Callahan's on Anderson Avenue in Fort Lee.

"This is dangerous because I live up the block," Dinkjian said. "I can walk here [anytime]."

Dinkjian and Tavition, who lives in Waldwick were among the mix of new and return customers during Sunday's lunch rush. 

Fairview's Elizabeth Wall and her granddaughter, Jocelyn Chrzanowski,shared not only lunch but memories.

"I was so disappointed when they closed," Wall said. I'm glad their back in the neighborhood. Now we can eat here more often." 

Chrzanowski remembered the hot dogs tasting the same as they did at the original Palisades Avenue location, which closed a decade ago.

"I can't have hot dogs from somewhere else again," she said. 

Donna and Peter Arciuolo of Ridgefield Park said they were regulars and came in for their favorite: Italian hot dogs, which are made with peppers, onions and potatoes.

"I heard they were coming back to Fort Lee," Donna, said. "This is perfect."

The couple brought their two sons, Nicholas and Justin, who were trying the eatery for the first time. 

While waiting for his bacon cheeseburger, Justin stared and admired the mural of the old location that's painted on the wall.

"This is not like how it was," Peter told his kids. 

The Italian hot dog, sweet potato fries, and the Fort Lee Burger – topped with lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, mayo, and onions – have been the top sellers, co-owner Leonard Castrianni said. 

"We've been getting a lot of compliments on the food," he added. "It tastes like it did 10 years ago."

Castrianni has been trying to build up a social media presence and said that there are big plans for the future including a coffee and espresso station. 

Castrianni's late father bought the Palisade Avenue location in 1950. 

His mother, Ida, is a cornerstone of the new establishment – even serving hot dogs.

"She's the boss," her son said. "This place is dedicated to my mom and dad. I'm just a host." 

Castrianni, who co-owns the eatery with former high school classmate Greg Pappas, told Daily Voice that he's scouting a possible Englewood location. 

Wall just hopes this Callahan's doesn't go anywhere anytime soon.

"They better stay this time," she said. 

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