A piece of Lark Street history closes its doors for good on Sunday.
Hot Dog Heaven, the tiny Lark Street diner where Barbara Lamperella and her family have been making homemade soups, roasts, burgers and, of course, hot dogs for 20 years will flip its last burger on Sunday.
Lamperella says after two decades, it's just time to close.
Lamperella ran the business until she became ill about seven years ago. Then her daughter took it over. Now, she says, it's just become too much.
"All the kids have grown up and they're in college and working other jobs," she says, "And it's just too much pressure on my daughter, so I just figure it's time for me to retire."
Lamperella's husband started the business for her 20 years ago. "He was on dialysis and he decided to open it up. He said 'I know you like to cook, and I want you to have something for when I'm gone.' "
Lamperella says she really did love to cook, and she enjoyed running the business, "Everything is made fresh here, even the burgers were never frozen. I used to have a hot special every day."
The regulars still come in, but with so many other small, quick food options in the area Lamperella and her daughter, Deborah, say things are different. They're hoping the next tenant will want to keep the diner style atmosphere.
"We're trying to encourage someone to come in and keep it as a diner, but so far everyone who comes in wants fried chicken and pizza. But a lot of people have come in to look at the place, so who knows what will happen."
What will she miss? Without hesitation she and Deborah simultaneously say: "The people."
"We have lots of wonderful memories of the place," says Lamperella. "We had kids who used to come in and we watched them grow up. They come back and visit. They always remember us."
Hot Dog Heaven
216 Lark Street
Albany , NY 12210
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