Wienerland, the iconic hot dog stand by Tyler Junior College that recently closed, will reopen under new ownership. Two couples, Lindsey and Michael Harrison, and Ashley and John Feldman, signed the lease and plan to reopen the restaurant in May.
"It's kind of random how this all happened," explained Ms. Harrison. "My best friend is Ashley Feldman, and we're both longtime Tylerites. And our families are doing it together. We saw an iconic Tyler restaurant close, and everyone was sad it was going away. So we started doing our research. We came to the conclusion that we can do this."
She emphasized that Wienerland, which shut its doors in August, didn't close because of financial difficulties.
"It closed because the owners died, and the kids didn't want to do it anymore," she said.
Former Wienerland owner David Pessink died Jan. 29, 2016, and his wife, Mary, died three days later. Both were 61. The restaurant had been there for 45 years before closing.
The property is owned by Genecov Investments, which began searching for new occupants, said Mark Whatley of Burns Commercial Properties.
"We're just very excited to get someone in there," Whatley said.
Ms. Harrison remembers eating there as a child.
"What I really remember are the chili cheese dogs," she said. "And we have the chili recipe. We'll be bringing back the old favorites, and adding some new things as well. We'll be bringing in new varieties."
So far, she's getting "great feedback" and a lot of praise for reopening the restaurant.
"When I was in there yesterday taking some measurements, I had three people drive up, trying to place an order," she said. "I had to tell them I'm sorry, but come back in May."