There’s a new face at The Gyro Stand downtown.
Jill Kromer has taken over for her cousins David and Tom Kluding, who had been serving the downtown lunch crowd for several years.
Last week Kromer took the reins and worked her first solo week.
“Some days it’s all at once. Some days it’s steady,” Kromer said about the lunchtime rush.
The stand sells hot dogs, gyros, super gyros, drinks and chips.
She begins her day at about 10:40 a.m., unhitching the steel stand from the back of her Jeep. It takes her about 20 minutes to set up — just in time for the early lunch rush.
She said her longest line of customers has been four to five people deep. Her cousins, she said, have had customers wait in line all the way down to the corner by the Popcorn Stand.
Kromer said there are a lot of lunchtime regulars. Many customers walk from their downtown businesses to pick up lunch. Several work at the Erie County Courthouse. Others drive to the stand to bring food back to work, she said. Many take advantage of beautiful weather and spend their lunch break sitting on the benches that are placed all around Washington Park. There are also regular walkers who stop at the stand to chat everyday. By 3 p.m., the stand is closed, and Kromer re-hitches the stand to the back of her Jeep before heading home.
“They’re hard to come by,” said regular customer Donovan Cole about the stand’s gyros. He said he doesn’t know many places in town that serve gyros as good as The Gyro Stand.
Cole tries to stop by the stand at least once a week. Last week, he visited the stand twice.
The stand also travels to the Venetian Marina on the weekends.
“Some people say (I) should keep it open all winter,” she said.
There are only a few weeks left for The Gyro Stand. Kromer plans to shut down the operation at the end of the month.
Although Kromer only has a few weeks of experience, she said she has enjoyed her time running the stand.
“It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s outside,” Kromer said.
She hasn’t received any odd requests yet from customers. Usually they know exactly what they want or just ask for the works.
“I’m open to requests,” she said.