The very best Hotdogs on the planet!

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I have been eating their hotdogs my entire life and it always seemed that many of our family function were marked with a trip to Hanges. Famous for it their Hot Jersey Wieners Since 1939 five generations of our family have been enjoyed these "Chili Dogs" or Texas style Wieners.

Johnny Scovish and Angelo (Hange) Mariano opened the window of their hot dog stand at 855 River Street in Paterson NJ on July 4th 1939 along the side of the Passaic River.

Back then the hotdogs only cost a nickel.

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This photo was sent to me by Art Tursh who now lives in Chicago. Scovish Jr. let him have this photo shortly before they closed the original location and a copy now hangs on the wall behind the counter at the new location.

My Grandfather Albert Hodell started bringing his three sons, Norman, William, and Lance to Hanges just after they opened their restaurant. They were just kids back then and my uncle said that he could smell the sauce from blocks away as they would ride the bus from our town of  Hawthorne into Paterson just to get some of those famous hotdogs.

Photo of the original restaurant in Paterson New Jersey taken in the 80's

Just like my Father on my left and my Uncle on my right, I was also raised on those Johnny & Hanges Chili Dogs. After moving from New Jersey to New England in the early 1980's and I looked forward to any trip back to NJ or PA visiting relatives because we could make a stop at Johnny & Hanges for a quick bite. Somehow I would always end up bringing extra hotdogs south to family in PA and then more back north going home to RI on every trip.

(The Hodell Boys, Lance, Steve, and Bill)

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Here is picture of the Big Blue Beast out front of the original restaurant in Paterson

Steve enjoying some of those Chili Dogs "All the Way" back home in Rhode Island after one of our many trips to Pennsylvania.

Then in March of 1998 on the way down to my sisters house in PA for my Nieces wedding I stopped at my beloved greasy spoon for a few hotdogs and found them closed! It was a shock that has left a empty felling in the pit of my stomach. I stood there, nose pressed against the glass, peering at the menu still hanging on the wall inside the closed restaurant.

All I could think about was placing my order...

"Give me Five, All the Way, Extra Onions, Soupy!"

The next day after my Nieces wedding you could hear the conversation making it's way from table to table around the room at the reception dinner. Comments like "Johnny & Hanges is closed?" then the doubting Thomas "You're kidding Right?" But it was true, our beloved Hotdog stand had closed it's doors after 50 years. Everyone from out of town was planning to stop and get a few hotdogs before going back home. The news was especially devastating for the "Hodell Boys" and I made a prophetic statement that night.

"Someone will buy Hanges and open it up, someone just has to..."

Others guest at the wedding scoffed at me and remarked that it would never happen. Well I wrote this webpage to let every one know that dreams can come true. Someone did buy the restaurant and they did reopen my favorite greasy spoon.

On September 9th 1999 Fulvio (Phil) Grosso opened the doors to the new expanded Johnny & Hanges just a few miles up the road from the original location in Fair Lawn, NJ.

Photo of the new Hanges in Fair Lawn, NJ.

 My wife Sandy and I made the four hour trip from Rhode Island to New Jersey for the grand opening weekend and as we pulled up to the new Johnny & Hanges it was closed. Posted right in the front door there was a hand written card board sign...

"Sorry no electricity we are closed..."

The same weekend that Johnny & Hanges was having their grand opening New Jersey had days of torrential rain storms causing power outages all over the state. Here I was again with my nose pressed against the glass right next to a painting of a three foot hotdog. We had driven over 250 miles just to get some hotdogs and we left disappointed.

The next morning we came back and found the new restaurant open for business. I had been waiting over a year for my much needed fix of that unbelievable chili sauce that my family had been raised on. I could smell the sauce from blocks away just like my Uncle did more than 50 years ago! We parked the Big Blue Beast right up front at the new restaurant and I stuffed my face with a half dozen of those Chili Dogs.

Boy oh boy was I ever happy, the hotdogs were great and the sauce was prepared with the exact ingredients and recipe kept secret since 1939. Before leaving I ordered twenty "All the Way" and a few extras with no onions for my Mom... TO GO!

As we heading back home to Rhode Island Sandy snapped a picture of me with my big tray of those Famous Chili Dogs for our 250 mile take out order .

Now located at 23-20 Maple Avenue in Fair Lawn NJ my wife and I always stop at Johnny & Hanges for those Famous Chili Dogs any time we are traveling down to New Jersey.

Every once and awhile I make the 4 hour 250 mile trip just to get a hotdog!

How many folks do you know that need to make hotel arrangements when they want a hotdog?

March of 2005 I was contacted by Martin De Angelis a reporter that writes for the Atlantic City Press. Martin was doing research about Johnny & Hanges for an article that he was writing about the history of the restaurant because the new owner Phil Grosso was opening a second Johnny & Hanges in Atlantic City. Martin came across this webpage, my tribute to Johnny & Hanges, and contacted me to talk about the history.

You can read Martin's article by clicking this link

Soon after I learned of the new Johnny & Hanges being built in Atlantic City I started planning a road trip to visit the new restaurant. Some 680 miles later I can now say that I enjoyed my favorite "Hanges" Hotdogs at my favorite spot in the world, the Jersey Shore!

The new Johnny & Hanges is located on the corner of Atlantic and California just a few hundred yards from the ocean near the Tropicana. Phil has built a beautiful new building and they have a large colored mural covering a wall that was adapted from a photo of the original restaurant on River Street in Paterson, New Jersey.

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Hanging on the wall near the door is a framed copy of the article all about the New Johnny & Hanges in Atlantic City and the crazy guy from Rhode Island that drives four hours just to get a hotdog...

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Well it normally takes about four hours to get from Rhode Island to the Fair Lawn Johnny & Hanges, on this trip in April of 2005 we had to endure some heavy traffic which lengthen our trip another hour. After just over five hours my wife and I enjoyed a long awaited lunch with Phil before getting back on the road and driving another five hours to Atlantic City...

...Later that night I enjoyed a few more "Hanges" hotdogs with Phil's son Adam at the new Johnny & Hanges!

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I needed a photo of the Big Blue Beast parked in front of the new Atlantic City Johnny & Hanges tying everything together...

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This webpage was last updated on 11/25/06 and has been viewed times.

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Copyright 1995-2006 Steven M Hodell

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