The scent of Charlie Summa’s saucy onion topping and the hot dogs it immortalizes are back.
Charlie’s Hot Dogs stand has reopened, now in Islip Terrace, after a decadelong absence.
On day one, May 9, the line at the new serving truck grew “all day long,” said Jeanne Summa-Becvar, the owner and daughter of Charles Summa, a disabled World War II veteran who established the business with his wife, Rosemary, originally via a pushcart, in 1963. Charles Summa died in 1998. Summa-Becvar closed the truck in 2006.
The hot dog stand is remembered as much for the savory, sweet-spicy onion topping as it is for the franks themselves. Summa-Becvar started to bottle it two years ago and the success of Charlie’s Legendary Onions and “customers really begging us to reopen” spurred the revival. And the Charlie’s Hot Dog truck now is humming in the commercial parking lot at 16 Lowell Ave.
The line reached 50 on opening day. Summa-Becvar said the hot dogs were “served all day long . . . hundreds of them.”
The stand first opened in front of the Summa house in Brentwood. It was then permitted on residential land as part of a program specifically for veterans.
Popular items at Charlie’s are led by the two-or three- hot dog special served on Italian bread, for $7 and $8, respectively. The regular hot dog is $2; the hot dog with topping, $2.25 Chili, knishes, and soda also are available.
The reborn Charlie’s is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed Sunday and Monday. The onion sauce is sold online at charlieslegendaryonions.com. A two-pack of the 16-oz. jars is $24.95; a four-pack, $39.95.