If you hear them saying “hot dog” in White Plains, it could be because they’re excited or it could be because they’re placing an order at Walter’s Hot Dogs at 186 Mamaroneck Ave., or maybe both.
The Westchester food institution, located in a Chinese pagoda-style building on Palmer Avenue in Mamaroneck since 1928, has opened a location in White Plains. In 2017, Walter’s opened its first eatery outside of Mamaroneck in Stamford, Connecticut. Its hot dog truck has been a common sight around Westchester for years. Walter Warrington first began selling the split-in-half dogs, grilled in a “secret sauce” and served on a toasted bun with a proprietary mustard, relish and spices, in 1919. The fourth generation of the Warrington family now operates the business.
The White Plains location was designed to seat 50 people both indoors and outdoors. Katharine Warrington Woodward, great-granddaughter of Walter, was among the family members attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 28 to mark the formal opening of the Mamaroneck Avenue store. She handles public relations for the business and said that the White Plains location should help reach new customers. The White Plains Downtown Business Improvement District was represented at the event by Brittany Brandwein. White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach used a giant pair of scissors to cut an extra-wide red ribbon.
In addition to its classic split hot dog, Walter’s features a Puffy Dog, which is a hot dog topped with two smashed potato puffs, Funnel Cake Sticks topped with powdered sugar and homemade Italian ices.
Despite the recent closing of the Walmart store on Main Street in White Plains, Roach was upbeat about the prospects for downtown when interviewed by the Business Journal.
He said the opening of Walter’s was “just another indicator about how people want to be a part of this city. We’re growing every day, I’m cutting ribbons all the time, new projects (are) coming in.”
Roach said that projects already underway and additional proposals in the pipeline to develop new apartment buildings in the downtown will help retail as well.
“The reality that we came around to years ago is that retail is going to go through a seismic shift, which is what’s happening and, fortunately, White Plains is ahead of the curve on that because you need people living in your downtown to support your retail and that’s how you keep your retail,” he said.
Regarding Walter’s, Roach said, “We’re proud to have this iconic Westchester business choose White Plains. They’ve done a great job with the store highlighting the historic nature of the business in this very new and modern space.”
In 2017, Walter’s and the Warrington family were honored by Westfair Communications, publisher of the Westchester County Business Journal, Fairfield County Business Journal and WAG magazine, with a Family-Owned Business Award.