Saturday, September 13, 2008

Green's Lunch **HALL OF FAME EATERY**

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.


  1. Now that's my kind of munchin'. If I ever get to Charlotte, this is where I eat. I actually have a list of real food places in different cities that I want to eat at. I have added this one. Thanks for the great info. I love this stuff. Because it is all about "AMERICANA". Great post.

  2. This is sooooo freaky...I was at Green's last Friday and said to myself, "Maybe Pat will do a profile on Green's one day." Boom! Here it is!

    I love greens. It is across the intersection from my office, so when I want a quick and cheap lunch, I go here. Granted, it can't be too often, or I'll turn into a blimp.

    One of my coworkers who moved to Philadelphia a couple of years ago is the nephew of the current owners.

    I usually get two cheese dogs, all the way except onions, and an order of fries. Sometimes I get a cheeseburger, but I tend to stick to the cheese dogs.

    One of my favorite features of Green's is that they have one of those cartoon-like maps of Charlotte that's full of ads. Kinda hard to describe, but if you saw it, you'd know what I was talking about. The version on the wall at Green's is from 1982 at the latest (the new airport terminal opened that year is not depicted), and shows such gems as Sears and Ivey's at SouthPark and Belk and Ivey's downtown.

    Anyways...great post, and I can say that this is definitely a hall of fame eatery!

  3. Green's is always highly recommended!

    Matt--thanks for the info. I think if I worked near Green's, I'd go there all of the time!

  4. Green's = best deal in town. I was there this Friday and the place was packed as always. Try the bologna sandwich all the way...gutbuster extraordinairre!