Zissis Family’s Restaurant Celebrating Centennial in Hornell

The Texas Cafe in Hornell, NY. (Photo by James Johnson, via Wikimedia Commons)

HORNELL, NY – The Texas Cafe in Hornell, NY celebrated its centennial this year and was honored on November 30 by elected officials and its loyal patrons, the Evening Tribune reported.

Among those present were Mayor John Buckley and New York State Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes who presented proclamations to the Zissis family, the owners of the legendary Cafe since 1982.

“Generations of the Zissis family gathered around matriarch Chrysanthe Zissis to receive a commemorative clock presented by Michelle Pogue, chair of Hornell Partners for Growth,” the Tribune reported, adding that “Mrs. Zissis and her late husband Peter purchased the Texas Café in 1982 from George Psyhos.”

Daughter Tina Zissis told the Tribune that “before that I believe an uncle of his owned it and his father also.”

“You’re woven into the fabric of the City of Hornell. You’ve been just a staple, an anchor to downtown here on Broadway. I’d been coming here with my dad. We used to make it a Saturday ritual. I’d come and get two plain hot dogs and a Coke, and he was always trying to get me to get the meat sauce. Finally, as I got into my teenage years, I graduated to the meat sauce, and I couldn’t tell you over the years how many hot dogs I’ve eaten here, but I look forward to many more,” Mayor Buckley said, the Tribune reported.

Assemblywoman Byrnes noted, “one of the first places I came to when I started to represent the City of Hornell and this area was the Texas Café. Your food is wonderful, and it’s my honor and my privilege to bring a citation from the New York State Assembly in Albany,” the Tribune reported.

With cheers from the staff and the customers, the owners thanked them for their dedication and support through the years. “I swear, we have the best customers in Hornell and the area. We just want to say thank you. We’ve been here almost 40 years, and it feels like it has just flown by like that. Our employees – they’re awesome,” Diane Zissis said, the Tribune reported.

Tina Zissis said that “time indeed flies when a family-owned restaurant serves customers’ families” and that “it’s almost like family because you see children when they come in as babies, and then all of a sudden they’re in college, all of a sudden they’re young adults getting married. So it’s like a sense of family, too,” the Tribune reported.

Tina Zissis added that the restaurant’s success and its famous hot sauce are a testament to Greek heritage and “the sauce likely was inspired by a dish ‘from the Old Country,’” the Tribune reported.

The popular dish at the Cafe is Texas Hots, “hot dogs topped by meat sauce and a generous helping of chopped onions,” the Tribune reported.

When asked about the future for the restaurant and if it will be around for another century, Diane Zissis told the Tribune, “we might not be around, but maybe the restaurant will be.”

The Texas Cafe, 29 Broadway Mall in Hornell, NY, is open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 8 AM-8:30 PM; Friday, 8 AM-9 PM; and Sunday, 8 AM-2 PM. Closed Mondays.

More information is available by phone: 607-324-9770.

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