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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : news : business August 12, 2022

6/4/2022 5:35:00 AM
Lincolnton Icon Celebrates 65 Years
Lincolnton's new Dog Park is also set to open enjoy a famous City Lunch hotdog and come see the Dog Park, too!

Wayne Howard

By now, surely everybody knows that this weekend is the celebration of the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, but this remembrance of this historical event isn't the only thing happening.

The battleground camp will be open Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM - 2 PM.  There will also be a second Ghost Walk conducted by the cast of "Thunder Over Carolina" Saturday evening 6 - 9.  Unlike Friday, when we had some thunderstorms, Saturday's and Sunday's weather should be sunny and a little cooler.

Also happening this weekend is the opening of Lincolnton's new Dog Park at 492 Motz Avenue.  The Ribbon Cutting is scheduled for 2 PM.  

Also happening this Saturday is the celebration of City Lunch's 75th birthday.  The Lincolnton restaurant on the southeast Courtsquare, famous for its City Lunch Hotdogs, will be celebrating 65 years as a family business with a block party in front of the restaurant and on the south lawn of the Courthouse from 10 - 2.  They'll be selling their famous hotdogs for 65¢.  

Ernest and Pauline Dellinger bought the restaurant in 1957.  It has been run by the family ever since.  When I worked at WLON Radio, I used to stop by for a sausage and egg sandwich and a giant cup of grits on my way to work.  Pauline and I were close friends and I was usually invited to the Christmas party she threw at the restaurant every December.  After Pauline passed, her daughter Lynette Greer, ran the place.  Then granddaughter Angie Greer took over with help from brother Brian.  I've told Angie on many occasions that she is 'her grandmother made over.'  Her personality and that of Pauline--kind and gentle but able to dish out more than food when provoked--are exactly the same.

I won't be at the celebration...having another bout with my lymphedema and in considerable pain.  I don't get out much any more and have to walk with a walker, so I don't get to City Lunch that often.  Lynette has also had some health problems, but she still comes to the restaurant on occasion.  I especially miss Brian, who passed three years ago from cancer.  He was the biggest Lincolnton High School Wolves fan ever.  A big part of LHS home football games was getting a couple of City Lunch hotdogs.

Angie posted the following on Facebook: 

"Who would have believed that in 1957 when my grandparents (Ernest & Pauline Dellinger) decided to purchase the City Lunch that we would be celebrating 65 yrs in business. It has been a wonderful adventure to be serving Lincolnton for this long.

"We have seen so many changes and growth to this wonderful town. It makes us feel like a history book.

"When we opened we were just a counter and 4 two-person tables on the wall. Our neighbors, the Lincoln Barber Shop were located in the other half of the building. So in the 70s, when the barber shop closed, we decided to take another chance, we knocked down the wall and expanded.

"In the 80s our small town saw more changes. All of the large department stores started to move out. What was once a bustling downtown was dying. We lost the socializing that happened when you would come to shop: when you would be on Main Street and  able to see an old friend and stop and 'catch up' on each other.
Then in the 2000s town started to grow again. People were visiting our Main Street.
More business' were being opened and we started to get that small town pride back.

"Then in 2019 tragedy struc--my brother Brian lost his battle with cancer. If it wasn't for all of the support and prayers for our family, we don't know how we would have survived.

"Through all of these years I think what we have enjoyed most is our customers. We have seen children grow up, then bring their children.

"This being our 65th year what we want to do more than anything is to just say 'thank you.' Without your support we could not have done this. So THANK YOU.

"When you're downtown, stop in and support the other businesses, so that one day they can celebrate a milestone anniversary and say thank you for supporting them."

Pauline told me years ago that she wouldn't modernize the building because she was keeping her prices low and "if I put in air conditiioning and made it more modern, a lot of people who come here every day would feel unwelcome.  They think of this as 'their place' and I want to keep it that way.

Not a lot has changed at City Lunch from back in the '70s when I was one of those every day customers.  Because of inflation, prices have gone up.  But you can still get a meal at City Lunch for less than anywhere else in town.  Even the price of those famout hotdogs has had to increase (Pauline and I used to sell them at WLON remote broadcasts for two for a dollar--and we usually had a line of several hundred people waiting to get them.  

Sincerest congratulations to Angie, Lynette, and Lorna and City Lunch, truly a Lincolnton icon.  

There'll be music and a chance to meet a lot of friends for those who are able to attend Saturday's celebration.  

4 -  Kandance Helms 5K

1- Jackie Dameron Farm Bureau

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