Rich Breksa was ready for the opening of his favorite hot dog stand’s new branch.
He checked every day to find out the debut date. He followed the business on Facebook. He scouted the location.
Finally, he made his inaugural order on Thursday as Walter’s Hot Dogs started serving in the food stand in Commons Park in the city’s South End. The new location marks the second brick-and-mortar establishment for the family-owned Walter’s, whose original place of business on Palmer Avenue, in Mamaroneck, N.Y., represents one of the most popular destinations for dogs fans in the tri-state area.
“I grew up on Walter’s Hot Dogs,” said Breksa, a 46-year-old Stamford resident and Mamaroneck native, who works at the Toyota dealership in the city, between bites of two dogs with mustard and relish, curly fries and a coke. “They’re the best hot dogs ever, anywhere.”
Christine Warrington — whose grandparents, Walter and Rose Warrington, founded Walter’s in 1919 — said the family first spotted the park hangout while dining about a year and a half ago across the street at Fortina restaurant. The hut was not immediately available, but they noted the location as a promising spot. Earlier this year, they learned through a friend that it had become vacant.
Commons Park’s green food hut bears a striking resemblance to the Walter’s copper-roofed pagoda in Mamaroneck. The latter property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The family would become more familiar with the city after launching in 2015 a mobile catering business with two food trucks that travel throughout the tri-state area. Walter’s saw strong demand in the Harbor Point mixed-use complex around the park that has opened more than 2,300 apartments in the past decade.
The Harbor Point Walter’s would aim to operate open year-round, Warrington said.
“Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will stop me!” Breksa said.
Another Walter’s stand is scheduled to open, in January, on Mamaroneck Avenue, in White Plains, N.Y., according to Warrington.
In addition to Woodward, two of Warrington’s three other children, Gene-Christian Baca and Christine Sand, also work in the business.
“We’re fortunate enough to have the kids who have the passion for the business; they love it,” Warrington said. “They all came from different careers to do this because they always wanted to further the business and the legacy.”