Retro Roadsis and I had passed by Nick’s Nest in Holyoke on the way to the Mass Pike a couple of weeks ago (when I was able to snap this photo of their fab neon) but with it’s hot dog centric menu I knew it was a place to bring the Retro Roadhusband.
Diminutive and authentically charming, I was hooked from the moment we pulled up.
The menu is limited to hot dogs and beans, with a few other sides to choose from. We got a couple of dogs which are specially made for Nicks and and of course we had to check out the home baked beans. Our dogs were served on New England style rolls (or as RRH sometimes calls them, “folded bread”) and were easily devoured.
I will be truthful here and say that both RRH and I found the famous beans to be pretty lame, but maybe it’s because I’ve moved away from the B&M style baked bean that my father insists upon. I know, sacrelige! There wasn’t anything horrible about the beans, they were just bland. Luckily for Nick’s the decor and dogs totally made up for the bland beans.
A small space with a handful of stools at the counter that looks out onto the busy street, you definitely get that “stepping back in time” feeling here that I love so much. One thing that floored me was seeing the girl behind the counter pulling on a large wooden handle attached to a rope, hanging just above the serving counter. This was their way of opening the door for customers that were leaving with their hands full of food. How cool!
The nice girl behind the counter let us know that Nick’s had been under new ownership within the last 4 years or so and the new owners had spruced up the place, bringing back its original charm. Yay!
When I oohed and aahhed at all the vintage decor, she explained that although the Wurlitzer juke boxes at the counters did not work, when they did work the band box would move in time to the music. She then pulled another rope and VOILA the curtain opened on an old time band located just above our seats. Both RRH and I were smitten!
(Be glad you can’t hear the background music- it was Meatloaf!)
Much like Donut Dip, Nick’s is an easy exit off the Mass Turnpike and Route 91. If you go there when it gets dark you can’t miss the wondeful neon sign!
1597 Northampton St
Holyoke, MA 01040-1931
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