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Iconic street sign at Old Fashion Hot Dogs coming down after decades of welcoming locals

Posted at 7:07 AM, Jun 08, 2020

CLEVELAND — Considered a Cleveland staple of the city’s culinary scene for 92 years, the Old Fashion Hot Dogs street sign is coming down Monday. What opened in 1928 as the Hot Dog Inn by Emmanouel Vasiliou before becoming Old Fashion Hot Dogs when the Sorma family took it over as a cash-only grill in 1987, has been a place where Clevelanders could casually sit down and get the classics such as French fries, chocolate milkshakes and hot dogs.

Old Fashion Hot Dog diner sign on Monday, June 8, 2020.

The Lorain Avenue building in which Old Fashion Hot Dogs rents space has been bought by a developer, My Place Group. The developer, Chad Kertesz, offered the owners the chance to stay and reopen the shop in the new building that will go up in place of the current one.

The Sorma family wanted to keep the memories alive, so they allowed nearby All Things For You to install the sign in the shop.

“Even though Old Fashion Hot Dogs was only 360-square-feet, it occupies sizable space in the hearts of generations of Northeast Ohioans,” says Tim Yanko, who along with Dwight Kaczmarek, owns the nearby vintage and consignment furnishings and collectibles store, All Things for You.

For many of the people who walk through the doors of this tiny shop, the memories are priceless.

“It just reminds me of my childhood,” Ted Tanczuk, a longtime customer said. “My dad would bring me here. He’s passed away. But I just, I just love this place.”

Tanczuk said he’s been coming to the shop, once called Hot Dog Inn, since he was about four years old.

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Old Fashion Hot Dog diner sign on Monday, June 8, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic cut the Sorma’s final days at the diner short.

“A beacon of the neighborhood has come to an end,” acknowledges owner Tom Sorma. “We’re proud to have been a part of this iconic eatery and happy that its legacy will live on the memories of our friends, family and customers.”

The sign is scheduled to come down at 11 a.m. Monday at 4008 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland.

News 5 reporter Olivia Fecteau contributed to this report.

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