Torn-Down Tuesday: Henry’s Hamburgers, Sheridan at the Boulevard

By Steve Cichon

Back when living along the Tonawanda/Amherst border was like living in a real-life version of “American Graffiti,” Henry’s Hamburgers at Sheridan and Niagara Falls Boulevard was one of the many places a cruise down the strip could have landed.

Buffalo News archives

By the time the photo was snapped about a year into the operation of Henry’s in 1960, the Western New York version of guys like Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfuss and gals like Mackenzie Phillips and Cindy Williams had already eaten 720,000 hamburgers and 33 tons of French fries. The numbers were easy to hit when hamburgers were 15 cents each — or a bag of ten for a buck.

Within a year, there were three Henry’s locations — this one, another on McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo across the street from Park Edge (later Bells) Supermarket, and another across Union Road from Airport Plaza — right about where the Kensington Expressway eventually cut through.

Through the ’60s and ’70s, at least a dozen different Henry’s locations came and went around Western New York — most notably, the two (one at Main and Dewey and one on Jefferson) owned by Bills great and Channel 2 sportscaster Ernie Warlick.

The Main and Dewey location is the only one that survives as a restaurant. It’s now Tony’s Ranch House.

As far as the Sheridan Drive location, the area has obviously lost the rural feel of this photo. The gas station selling 26¢ gas at its two pumps was soon replaced by a Firestone shop. The Henry’s lot has been filled in with a small strip plaza and a former Denny’s restaurant.

Buffalo in the 60s: Forget McDonald’s; Buffalo had Henry’s Hamburgers

By Steve Cichon

The Henry’s Hamburgers run in Buffalo started in the early 1960s and lasted through the late 1970s.

This ad appeared in The News in 1964.

City locations included spots on Hertel Avenue, McKinley Parkway, Jefferson Avenue and Main Street at Leroy Avenue.  Some of the early success for the franchise locally came from Buffalo Bills star Ernie Warlick, who not only invested in several franchise locations but was often found behind the counter serving up the burgers and fries by the pound himself.

Suburban locations included on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, Main Street in Tonawanda, Union Road in Cheektowaga and Military Road and Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Each restaurant was owned by different franchisees, and promotional advertising often only applied to a single store. Such was the case for this “free hamburger” coupon, which could be redeemed at the store on Niagara Falls Boulevard at Sheridan Drive.