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 June 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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