‘I just thank God.’ Charlotte hot dog restaurant going strong for 95 years amid pandemic struggles


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – It’s easy to feel small when looking up at the buildings that tower over Green’s Lunch. But being small isn’t always a bad thing.

“It has a history behind it,” said Joanna Sikiotis, the owner of Green’s Lunch.

Green’s Lunch has been in business for 95 years, starting in 1926. Joanna’s father bought the restaurant in the 70s and tore down the old building that was falling down.

“My father finally said ‘enough is enough,’ he tore it down and built this building,” said Joanna.

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Joanna bought the restaurant from her father in 1989. Since then, she’s been through a lot of changes happening in uptown Charlotte.

“Growing up in Charlotte, it was a place, I would call it a ‘hick-town.’ Everybody knew everybody, we never locked our doors,” Joanna explained.

As the city changed around them, Green’s Lunch stayed the same, serving the same hot dogs for generations. While being a Charlotte staple has its perks, Joanna said it’s not easy staying open especially when she can’t find enough people to work.

“A lot of people ask me that question, are you going to sell like everybody else?” said Joanna.

She said, it’s been tough on her business, especially since they aren’t seeing the foot traffic like they used to.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen, so I kind of take it one day at a time. I just thank God for keeping us well,” said Joanna.

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She said, every five years they’ve been open, they typically plan a big fundraiser and have events throughout the year. They didn’t do it this year, even though it’s the 95th year they’ve been open.

“That’s my goal, is to have our 100 year anniversary. But you never know. Every day is a different story, we just don’t know,” said Joanna.

She said, their story may be a small one but it’s one worth telling.

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