SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An iconic Schenectady landmark took a hard hit during the strong storms moving through the Capital Region on Sunday.
Heavy rain and strong winds swept through the area on Sunday night, bringing down a tree on the iconic Mike’s Hot Dogs sign, a landmark of Schenectady for over 70 years.
Crews arrived shortly before 7:00 Monday morning to clean up after the storm. The restaurant opened its doors to customers, serving up breakfast just like any other morning. The iconic sign atop the restaurant is credited with saving the building from further serious danger.
“That sign took the brunt of that tree so we were very lucky,” said Mike’s Hot Dogs owner John Mantas. “There is minimal damage done on the roof, which is great.”
The sign, however, was not as lucky. Patrick Taft, who works for Adirondack neon signs, has been keeping the sign in tip top shape for decades and says the damage to the sign was significant.
“It’s like a totaled car. It’s a mess. There is no way we can do anything with the structure that is up there,” said Taft. “We will have to rebuild it, and we are gonna try to bring it back to the original as we can.”
Mantas says he hopes to build a replica of the iconic sign.
“For 72 years it’s been burning over the city. It’s our trademark. It’s something that people come back when they leave the area and they see the sign and it’s still here,” said Mantas. “It’s important that we get it back to where it was hopefully.”
Mantas says while it’s a shame the sign was destroyed, the most important thing is that none of his employees were injured during the storm.