Hot Dog, look at that sign! You don’t see many of these giant neon beauties in Massachusetts nowadays. Heck, I bet I the iconic blue George’s Coney Island sign is THE coolest sign in Mass. If you think it has any rivals, I wanna know about them!
George’s is named for founder George Tsagarelis and his family still owns and operates this landmark Worcester restaurant. While George’s has been on the Worcester eats scene since 1918 and on the Retro Roadmap Must Share list since the beginning of the site it has been difficult to wrangle a visit with the Retro Roadfam, especially since Retro Roadboy doesn’t eat hot dogs, and that’s what George’s is famous for. But we finally got there!
So yes, George’s is well known for it’s 60ft tall neon sign depicting a gargantuan hand clenching one of the biggest hot dogs you’ve ever seen – but the awesomeness doesn’t stop there. The constantly photographed sign was added to the building in 1940, but 2 years earlier George saw the wave of the future and remodeled his hot dog shop to reflect the vibrant art deco designs so popular in that era.
There is so much fun and color to take in, especially on a bright sunny day. The mix of opaque colored vitrolite glass, porcelain enamel panels, brushed steel letters, different shapes, patterns and textures, why I could gaze at this and photograph it for days! But since Retro Roadhusband had his mind on the food, he finally strong-armed me into the restaurant itself, where you’ll be overjoyed to learn that it’s as charmingly perfectly vintage as the exterior.
And you can’t forget the fab vintage bar alongside – this entire place is a time capsule – a location scout’s dream!!
One thing Mod Betty loves just as much as authentic vintage places like George’s is regional brands of food, and George’s does their part to highlight their local food love. From Worcester’s own Polar soda (or tonic, as I can’t help but call it since I’m from Mass) Kayem Hot Dogs (Still made in Chelsea, MA ) and Wachusett Potato Chips (oh crap, they got bought out by Utz) “Mass produced” products are well represented.
After gettting in line at the famous counter, we knew we had to order “The Works” which pretty much defines a Coney Island hot dog - a grilled dog with yellow mustard, chopped onion and George’s famous chili sauce.
Served on a china plate that’s probably older than Mod Betty, I admit to having only a bite, as it was really more something up Retro Roadhusband’s alley. He absolutely devoured it!
I was happy to learn too that George’s offers some other items on their menu – like burgers and grilled cheeses, so now we have no excuse not to take the Retro Roadkids there soon.
So get yourself there – seriously, it’s one of the best examples of Retro Roadmap worthiness that Mass has to offer!
George’s Coney Island Lunch
158 Southbridge Street
Worcester, MA 01608
Open every day at 10am, Closed Tuesdays (kinda like Skip’s Snack Bar, I wonder what the deal is with that? I’ll have to find out)
OK and try to keep this straight:
- Sunday open ’til 7pm
- Monday, Wednesday Thursday open ’til 8pm
- Friday, Saturday open ’til 9pm
View MA – Massachusetts Retro RoadMAP in a larger map