Green's Lunch is Charlotte's oldest and longest-running eating establishment. It began life in 1926 (though some say it was actually late-1925) when Robert Green bought an existing lunch stand and, with about 12 stools, started selling hot dogs for a nickel each. Green's is located in downtown's Third Ward neighborhood on Fourth St (just three blocks off of Tryon). The business remained in the Green family until August 1975 when they sold it to the Sikiotis family.
Green's has always been famous for their hot dogs. Their "all the way" dog (with homemade chili, slaw, and onions) is legendary. Along with hot dogs, Green's is popular for their daily breakfast and their fried baloney and livermush sandwiches.
Green's has always been a Charlotte institution. When Robert Green passed away in 1945, his daughter-in-law Mary took over the operations. When Mary added her homemade chili in the 1960's, Green's popularity skyrocketed. Mary (or "Mama" as everyone called her) was beloved in Charlotte--she was known as the "Hot Dog Queen" and was featured in several of Charlotte's Christmas parades. After she sold the restaurant in 1975, she continued to work there for another 16 years. She spent most of the '90's working as a greeter and cashier at the Barclay Cafeteria at Belk-Southpark.
Little has changed at Green's over the past 82 years- chili was added in the 60's, slaw in the '70's, a renovation to the dining room in the '80's. Green's is the one place that has seen almost every incarnation of Charlotte's constantly evolving downtown. It is remarkable that they have always flourished and have changed so little over the years.