PLATTSBURGH — The McSweeney’s Red Hots restaurant at 4704 Route 9 in the Town of Plattsburgh has been completely renovated and is now again open for business.
Mike Farrell, co-owner of the three McSweeney’s locations with his brother, Steve, said the restaurant re-opened Aug. 23.
“The transformation is just unbelievable,” he said. “It really was quite fun trying to put this together.”
The remodeled interior features a green-and-white color scheme that matches the 7067 Route 9 location in the north end of Plattsburgh, which needed extensive repairs after the spring flooding of 2011.
While things looked grim during the flooding that affected that location, it appears everything happens for a reason, he said.
Once those repairs were done, the brothers decided to bring the former Nitzi’s location up to a similar standard.
While the restaurant retains its original footprint, it now has seating for 70 diners, up from 32. It features two flatscreen televisions and a stereo system, Farrell said, in an effort to attract more college students.
There are also hardwood decks with picnic tables on the north and south ends of the building. The restaurant has all new electrical and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
“It’s essentially a brand new building,” he said.
Farrell said they started McSweeney’s at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in 1990. They moved to the 7067 Route 9 location, next door to the North Country Chamber of Commerce, in June 1991.
The restaurant at 600 Route 3 opened on March 19, 1995. Farrell said that’s easy to remember as it’s his son’s birthday.
They had a restaurant on Route 11 near Interstate 87 in Champlain for three years starting in 1995. Some of that equipment is now in the former Nitzi’s location.
Farrell said Eula and Garth Otis were the first owners of what became Nitzi’s.
“Since 1925, this restaurant has been pushing out hot dogs,” Farrell said.
He said one of their employees, Irving Rabinowitz, aka Nitzi Rabin, later bought the restaurant. It was sold to Arnie Pavone in 1973.
The Farrells leased the restaurant for three years starting in 1997 and then bought the property in 2000.
In addition to michigans, the restaurants feature burgers, chicken, fish, sandwiches, fries, salads and appetizers. The menu is the same at all three locations.
All locations now have soft ice cream and milkshakes. Sometimes that’s all a customer wants, Farrell said,.
This location used to be only seasonal, but plans now call for it to be open year-round. The additional seating will raise the workforce at the three locations to between 50 and 55 employees.
The Farrells are both Plattsburgh natives. They share a strong faith as born-again Christians, he said, and are very involved in the community.
“In 22 years of doing business as brothers, we have never once disrespected each other,” Farrell said.
Steve is in charge of the location in the north end of Plattsburgh and Mike runs the show on Route 3. That gives each brother a chance to show off their sports allegiances, Steve with the New York Yankees and New York Giants and Mike with the Boston Red Sox and Buffalo Bills.
They haven’t decided which teams will grace the walls at the newly renovated restaurant.
The renovations were done by North Country Contracting, owned by the father-and-son team of Roger Rock and Matthew Raudenbush, who have worked on the renovations since mid-April. They are the same ones who did the repair work at the location in the north end of Plattsburgh.
Farrell said they want to look at renovating the Route 3 location next, but that may have to wait until next year.
“It’s been an amazing run,” Farrell said. “It’s always good for a community when you put improvements in.”
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