Buffalo in the ‘60s: Ordering off the Your Host menu

By Steve Cichon

Had you walked into one of the 31 Your Host restaurants that filled the Niagara Frontier with a quick inexpensive meal and a pretty good cup of coffee, this is the menu you would have been handed as you slid into a booth or onto a stool at the counter.

A menu from Your Host. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Alfred Durrenberger and Ross Wesson started the Your Host empire with a hot dog stand on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore in 1944, and grew it over the next two decades into the large restaurant chain generations of Western New Yorkers remember.

A menu from Your Host. (Buffalo Stories archives)

In 1965, Your Host was slinging 27,000 of the burgers which started at 35 cents on the menu above. Around a decade later, when the menu below was in use, there were a growing number of places to get a burger cheaper and faster.

Photos of the (Buffalo Stories archives)

The ’70s and ’80s weren’t kind as fast food and national restaurant chains began to hone in on Your Host’s customers, and the local institution limped into the ’90s.

A menu from Your Host. (Buffalo Stories archives)

The last 11 Your Host restaurants closed up for good in 1993.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.