What It Looked Like Wednesday: Christmastime at Sattler’s, 998 Broadway

By Steve Cichon

For generations of Buffalonians, Christmas didn’t begin without the Sattler’s Christmas parade and a visit to the Toys Annex across the street from good ol’ 998.

1951 ad

1951 ad

Starting in 1947, Sattler’s played host to a Santa Claus parade up Broadway that was patterned mostly after the New York City Macy’s parade — featuring gigantic balloons tethered by ropes and the big man himself as the grand finale.

image from the 1962 parade.

Image from the 1962 parade.

It was estimated that 40,000 people lined the parade route on a cold, snowy November Saturday for the parade in 1962. That year, there were 40 large balloons and about 20 marching units —including the Buffalo Police marching band.

from the 1962 parade

Image from the 1962 parade

The 1964 parade was announced by WKBW’s Danny Neaverth and featured Buckskin Joe and the Fantasy Island Stagecoach.


Click to enlarge 1964 ad

In 1967, Santa arrived at 998 via helicopter, greeted by WWOL’s Ramblin’ Lou.


Of course, seeing Santa was great—but the real thrill was shopping for the toys which Santa might bring.

1954 (Buffalo Stories archives)

Even once you outgrew toys — Sattler’s always had plenty to fill your Christmas list, like this 1963 record album list including “The Singing Nun” and “Best of Joan Baez.:


The store’s odd and interesting array of bargains, big events like their Christmas parade and that first-of-its-kind “Shop and Save at Sattler’s, 998 Broadway” jingle made the store a destination for people from all over Western New York.

Buffalo Stories archives

Through the 1960s, Sattler’s became an anchor tenant in a handful of Western New York’s new shopping malls.

The Boulevard Mall Sattler's, 1980. (Buffalo Stories archives)
The Boulevard Mall Sattler’s, 1980. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Sattler’s went out of business in 1982, but the landmark Broadway-Fillmore store was stripped of the Sattler name a year earlier. For its final 13 months, it was known as the 998 Clearance Center. It carried castaways from the Main Place, Boulevard and Seneca Mall locations.

Sattler’s was one of many stores anchoring the Broadway-Fillmore shopping district in the mid-60s. Buffalo Stories archives

The 998 location was torn down in 1988.

Buffalo in the ’50s: The state’s first McDonald’s on Niagara Falls Boulevard

By Steve Cichon

When New York State’s first McDonald’s opened on Niagara Falls Boulevard just north of Maple Road in 1959, that part of Maple Road wasn’t even built yet. It was mostly open farm land.

New York State’s first McDonald’s, as seen in the lower left corner, was built in 1959. This photo was taken in 1962, and shows the progress of building the Boulevard Mall. A photo from the same vantage point today would show Wegmans, Walmart, and the site for the forthcoming Whole Foods as well as the mall… and McDonald’s. (Buffalo News archives)

That part of Amherst and Tonawanda quickly developed around the McDonald’s Drive-In, with the completion of the Boulevard Mall — Western New York’s first covered shopping mall — in 1962, the area has been in a constant state of development ever since.

McDonald’s was a hit the moment Jerry Brownrout opened the franchise in 1959.

1962 ad. Buffalo Stories archives

Over the first few months in business, the self-service drive-in was frying up 70,000 hamburgers, 30,000 bags of fries, and blending 20,000 shakes a month, and McDonald’s was well on its way to becoming a local and international phenomenon. The location was selling more 15 cent hamburgers than any other in the country.

Over the first five years, 250 tons of hamburger was cooked in that Niagara Falls Boulevard location — enough for five million hamburgers. By 1964, there were nine McDonald’s locations in the Buffalo area.