Dennis L. Pfaffenbach wasn’t about to let a little snow keep him from eating at ZJ’s Family Restaurant.
“I come here all the time – blizzards, snow storms, sleet, hail, you come to ZJ’s . It’s the best place to eat this side of the Mississippi,” he said from a stool at the counter of the eatery at Hamburg Village Plaza. “You can quote that.”
While his favorite dish there is the corned beef, he was having steak soup during the midday lull in the storm.
“Usually a few more people here, with the weather, that kind of curbed them,” he said. “I’m older, but I still like going out. I’ve been in the Blizzard of ’77. It doesn’t bother me.”
One of the owners of ZJs threw his hands up, as if to say, “What are you going to do?”
“I just want it to be over,” Zig Wendt said.
Business was off because of the snow, but the restaurant planned to stay open.
“We don’t close,” he said. “When the power was out, the electrical storm, we were open.”
They stayed open during the last blizzard, too, until the police suggested they close because of the driving ban.
But to Pfaffenbach, who has endured recent back surgery and then the removal of a kidney due to cancer in December, a little snow is just a slight annoyance.
“I’ve been coming here since I was 8-years-old, when it was ‘Your Host,’” he said. “I used to have cherry Coke.
He meets “the boys” from high school – they graduated in 1966 – Wednesdays and Saturdays, and they go to ZJs. But the others begged off Wednesday because of the weather.
“It’s slick out,” he acknowledged.
From ZJs he was headed to the gym, excited to be moving again after getting medical clearance to start on the treadmill.
And he was thinking of bringing his wife for dinner tonight, he said, as he went out to clear the snow off his car.
But most others have had enough of this old-fashioned, cold, snowy, never-ending winter.
“This has just been a bad winter. It’s been a tough cold winter and I’m sick of it,” he said. “I think everybody is.”