GIRARDVILLE, Pa. — A line of hungry and loyal customers stretched down the block outside Tony's Lunch in Girardville.
The burger joint closed its doors 14 months ago because of COVID-19 concerns, but that ended on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Matt Deble waited almost four hours, in the hot sun, to be first in line.
"Just wanted to wait in line. It's a great place. It's a staple of the area. Everyone knows if you're going to Tony's, you're going to get a Screamer," Deble said.
Screamers are what brought a lot of people here; it's Tony's famous cheeseburger topped with hot sauce, butter, and onions.
"I knew there were going to be a lot of people here, so I knew to get here very early. It's just the best burger around," Ryan Jones of Kulpmont said.
Workers were ready to serve as many as 500 burgers for the first night back.
"Makes you feel good inside that you have that many people that like what you make, you know? We're here 46 years, and we have a lot of loyal customers," Tony's Lunch owner Joe Salukas said.
The 14 months Tony's was closed due to COVID was the first and only time the eatery has closed in more than four decades.
After biting into a burger, Anthony Kodack of Ashland said it was worth the wait.
"So great, I cannot express how great it is. It's heavenly," Kodack said.
Tony's is open Thursday, Sunday, and Monday from 6 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.