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It's Official: Callahan's Returns To Fort Lee

Leonard Castrianni, Greg Pappas Photo Credit: Matthew Speiser
Work being done at the proposed new Callahan's location in Fort Lee. Photo Credit: Matthew Speiser
The new Callahan's in Fort Lee will be in a building owned by Kocher's Market on Anderson Avenue, owner Leonard Castrianni says. Photo Credit: Matthew Speiser

FORT LEE, N.J. -- An heir to the Callahan's hot dog restaurant business announced Friday that he'd signed a lease to return the popular eatery to Fort Lee in a building across from the borough community center.

Leonard Castrianni said partner Greg Pappas, an Edgewater urologist, was helping him reopen his own Callahan's next month at 1400 Anderson Avenue, sharing space with Kocher's Meats.

The original Callahan's on Palisade Avenue, obtained by Castrianni's late father in 1950, closed 10 years ago.

Castrianni told Daily Voice the new location will feature Callahan's classic hot dogs, burgers, french fries and "so much more," including:

  • One pound hot dogs from Union Pork Store in Union;
  • Hot dog tempura rolls from Kaname in Cliffside Park;
  • Cannoli's from Vitangelo in Edgewater;
  • State-of-the-art menu boards;
  • Seating for 46;
  • Seasonal outdoor seating;
  • A large mural by Mark Oberndorf of the original Callahan's on Palisade Avenue;
  • Callahan's Tiffany lamps;
  • Valet parking;
  • A shuttle that will take customers to and from the store;
  • Live entertainment on weekends;
  • Possibly: beer.

"We're back to carry on the Callahan's tradition of quality," said Pappas, who graduated Fort Lee High School with Castrianni in 1969.

"People are going to leave our store saying they have never had such a great experience," Castrianni added.

Castrianni told Daily Voice that he's also looking to open another in Englewood and said a Callahan's food trailer will begin operating in August.

The brand was revived two years ago by Castrianni's nephew, Daniel C. DeMiglio, with a yellow truck that made the rounds of North Jersey. A year ago this month, DeMiglio opened a Callahan's restaurant in Norwood.

Castrianni told Daily Voice that the federally registered trademark belongs to trusts set up by his father for him, his mother, his sister (DeMiglio's mother) and another sibling.

"I wish him all the best," DeMiglio said Friday. "I'm very happy that I could renew the trademark and bring the business back. I'm happy that someone in my family is opening another store."

Recently, DeMiglio announced that his Callahan's truck will have a permanent warm-weather home in Van Saun Park in Paramus thanks to the addition of a second "yellow beast" that will venture to South Jersey and other parts of the tri-state area.

Matthew Speiser contributed to this article.

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