The Story of Eckl's Restaurant History
Eckl's Restaurant operated from one of the oldest buildings in the Orchard Park area. Celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2016, the structure is one of the last spots of the 'Old Hamburg' days when the area was known as East Hamburgh. Its first owner was Wilhelm Willink, featured prominently in the early settler days in Western New York.
In 1906, Luis Schroeder, Martha Eckl's uncle, bought the building and operated it as a tavern-restaurant. 1920 would usher in Prohibition and the location would continue to feed its customers without serving alcohol. In 1926 Emma Schroeder would acquire the building. Then in 1934, Emma's daughter, Martha, along with her husband, Jack Eckl, reopened the business following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.
From the moment they opened their tavern-restaurant, Eckl's has been known for its friendliness and good food. In 1963, the state took the building in order to widen South Buffalo Road, and later, Dale Eckl and his wife, Shirley would buy the building from New York State for $500. Then came the task of moving the structure to its new location at 4936 Ellicott Road.
Eckl's Restaurant has earned great acclaim as one of the original vendors of Beef–on-Weck sandwiches. Eckl's perfected the sandwich by combining slow roasted, cap-off Certified Black Angus Top Round (never overcooked!) with a Kummelweck, or "Weck" roll, featuring a unique blend of salt, caraway seed, and dough. In this form, they created a succulent treat that is unsurpassed in the region, or anywhere beyond.
Dale and Shirley opened the doors once again on December 27, 1964. With the construction of a new foundation and ample basement, Eckl's Restaurant improved the equipment needed to support the growing operation, add more space to the dining room, each while maintaining the solid plank construction used at the time of the buildings initial construction.
They ran it continuously for the next 50 years. Scheduled closings were limited to Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Super Bowl Sunday. There were only two unplanned closings; once during the Blizzard of '77 and another during the "Snowvember 2014" winter storm.
After a brief hiatus, Eckl's was purchased and revived in 2016 by Jim Cornell. Immediate plans were formalized for a second location, one which would takeover as the Eckl's flagship restaurant.
Jim Cornell and designer, Beth Dames, created an establishment unlike anything ever seen in Buffalo. The nearly 10,000 square foot footprint provides lunch, dinner and bar options as well as private dining and event space for upwards of 300 guests