Tradition of Family Hospitality.
It all started in 1934 with a hot dog stand and Eddie Stewart Sr.’s desire to take in the sunshine and be close to the water. Together with his wife and Eddie’s Restaurant co-founder, Florence (Fifi), they chose a location dear to their hearts, on the shore of beautiful Oneida Lake.
There was something about that modest, eight-stool stand. Whether it was the mouth-watering hot dogs, the beach-sized appetites, or Sr.’s million-dollar smile, the people just kept coming.
As summers passed, the menu and clientele grew. The birth of Eddie’s signature dish, the “Original Hot Ham Sandwich” is told to have happened quite by accident-customers would probably call it serendipity. One busy summer’s day, Eddie Sr. ran out of hot dogs. Knowing he had to feed the hungry tourists something, he whipped up one of his and Fifi’s favorites, grilled cappicola ham on a seeded roll. Eddie Sr. said the people fell in love with “The Hot Ham Sandwich.” They just kept coming back for more.
The quaint stand developed into a busy restaurant, popular with not only families but also famous stars. In its heyday, the big band sounds of Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington could be heard from the popular nightclub, “Russell’s Danceland,” and stories of celebrity citings at Eddie’s abound. Back then a relatively unknown singer named Frank Sinatra patronized Eddie’s. After performing he would purchase a nickel candy bar, sit curbside and watch the traffic on Main Street. Crooner Louis Prima spent one afternoon cooking his own spaghetti and serenading Fifi. Other legendary icons that have passed through Eddie’s doors include the Ink Spots, Harry James, Nat King Cole, Desi Arnez, Dagmar, The Dorsey Brothers, Liza Minnelli and George Foreman.
Throughout the years, Eddie’s has been the place where summer romance flourished, childhood memories were made and family traditions built. Genuine hospitality and culinary delights have made Eddie’s Restaurant an integral part of the Sylvan experience. A day at “The Beach” was never complete without a stop at Eddie’s. Today, longtime customers return for that nostalgic experience, sharing the good times with their children and grandchildren.
Eddie’s is a tradition behind the counter as well. Employees, past and present are better known as members of the Eddie’s family, with some serving up smiles for over a decade or more! Sometimes the lineage spans three generations, with grandmothers, mothers and granddaughters all at one time wearing an Eddie’s apron.
The Stewart children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have all worked at Eddie’s too. Carrying on the legacy is son Eddie Jr.; his wife, Leslie; grandson Rick (Edward III); granddaughter Alison; and great grandchildren Edward IV, Emily, Ava, and Ania.
While much has changed at Sylvan Beach over the years, there’s still one constant- a modest, yet extraordinary place called “Eddie’s”. Maybe it’s the homemade cream pies, seafood, Italian specials or “Original Hot Ham Sandwich.” It could be the friendly staff, or nostalgic reminders of a simpler time. Whatever is behind the magic of Eddie’s…the Stewart family hopes you enjoy your stay at Sylvan Beach and take home memories to last a lifetime. Pull up a seat; you’re home at Eddie’s!