Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In welcomes customers as doors open for the spring season

OSWEGO, N.Y. — There is wind, there are waves, and of course ice along Lake Ontario in March. The weather is expected but Rudy’s manager Douglas Applemen says it is his favorite time of the year  

 “It’s always nice to see the customers come back, same friendly faces we have seen for years,” said Applemen.

Fish fries and hot sauce — Rudy’s is open for the season bringing a plethora of food options. For Oswego native Jody DelBrocco, it is a meeting place for lifelong friendships back in the Oswego area from all over the country.

“I came here to see my friend Kim who is up here from Florida, just to say hello to her and get our first lunch of the year,” said DelBrocco.

Kim Shepard went to high school with DelBrocco. She has lived in Florida for more than 30 years. She normally heads up north in the summer but got an early start at Rudy’s this year because of family-related issues.

“My friends are here with me today to cheer me up and enjoy a little bit of comfort food,” said Shepard.

They chatted about life events and memories. Across from them, 83-year-old Wendell Blanchard has special memories at Rudy’s. Blanchard’s memories at the restaurant are not of food but of romance with his wife.

“After hours we would be out in the parking lot and we would make out, so there you go,” said Blanchard.

Aside from love, Blanchard remembers the hospitality of the original owner Rudy — a tradition that Applemen wishes to keep alive.

“I enjoy spending time with them and talking with them and talking about life in general and food and always giving them something that they like,” Applemen said.

Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In is a seasonal family restaurant that serves burgers and fresh seafood. Photo by: Thomas Cafarella