Iconic Paterson eatery Libby’s is closing after more than 80 years | Paterson Times

Iconic Paterson eatery Libby’s is closing after more than 80 years


Libby’s Lunch, an iconic hotdog joint near the Great Falls, is closing after more than 80 years in business.

Libby’s began operation in 1936. It is expected to close on July 31, 2020. Last day the business is taking orders is July 30, according to an employee at the business.

The eatery sold hamburgers, steaks, and sandwiches, but was known for its Texas wiener. Started by a William Pappas in 1936, the business, known for selling quality food, became extremely successful by taking advantage of its location close to the mills that employed thousands of people, according to a Library of Congress article.

A municipal document listed Heidi Psarros as the person in charge of the business in 2019. The McBride Avenue building where the business is located is owned by the city of Paterson.

Municipal officials failed to collect $93,000 in rent from the business for 2018, 2019, and 2020, according to a report published in the Paterson Times last week. It’s not clear whether reporting of the owed rent had any impact on the closure decision.

The business had a lease with the city that expires on July 31.

Libby’s Lunch had been doing take-outs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants all over the country have been financially struggling because of the economic fallout from the virus.

With the looming closure of the business, it’s not clear whether Paterson will be able to collect the owed rent.

“The goal will always be to go after funds that are owed,” said economic development director Michael Powell on Monday morning.

Powell said the city will likely issue a request for proposal to redevelop the site.

“It’s such a great location, I mean, think about the traffic that is there,” said Powell. The National Park Service has released data that shows hundreds of thousands of people visit the Great Falls National Park, steps from the eatery, every year.

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  • Plumber

    I don't know but I smell something fishy about this especially with that
    crooked mayor

    • Frank Lazar

      What's fishy about a buisness not getting a renewal on it's lease <b>after not paying rent for 2 and a half years?</b> It's not like this is the same Libby's that existed 80 years ago, or even during my childhood in the 60's. I believe it's on it's third operator now.

      Or maybe the fishy thing is that this place was allowed to stay in business despite the fact it had stopped paying rent 2 years before the pandemic can be counted as a factor?

    • HankMorgan

      What’s definitely not fishy is that they owe almost $100,000 in back taxes. I doubt they where able to pay that amount selling dogs curbside.

    • baggman744

      Which criminal mayor? Paterson has had more than one!

  • Barbara Capone

    And it ain’t the tuna melt

  • John Brown

    I heard all the Democratics eat there.

    • baggman744

      You're an idiot, everyone ate there. The food was decent, always quick, hot, and fresh, the prices low, and service always friendly.


      thats where all the police eat at

  • Eric B. McKenzie

    I guess the Republicans will all gather at Hot Grill in Clifton or maybe Jersey Dogs in Woodland Park now.

  • baggman744

    "hundreds of thousands of people visit the Great Falls National Park…" Without a gun? The city's a very dangerous place, especially after dark. I can't see why anyone would even want to drive through it. It's a shame what the crime and corruption has done to a once great city.

  • abe

    She got bought, a nice payday.

  • K B

    What a shame. Oh well there's hot grill riverview rutts hutt and johnny hanges

    • baggman744

      and goffle grill, hawthorne


    the city stopped collecting the rent so they can closed it and get triple the rent from the next business to hit the property

    • Jet Saccento

      Wouldn't be surprised if the owner was offered a deal to do just that.

  • baggman744

    Guess you don't read the news coming out of Paterson. It makes Camden look like a resort. Shooting, shooting, drugs, shooting, shooting.

    • CS72

      You have cleraly not been to Paterson. I am not saying Paterson is a perfect city. But unless your part of a gang, you really dont have to worry about anything. I have been out late at night even in the "bad part" many times and as long as you mind your own busniess you dont have anything to worry about.

      • baggman744

        Dude, the city's a shit hole, from the crime, drugs, shootings, to the run down and neglected streets, to the corruption in it's government. I was born & raised there, and I feel so sorry for it now.