Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times
Jack O’Flanagan, who opened Hot Dog Heaven just up the street from Steele High School in 1976 and ran it until earlier this year, was given a jersey bearing the number 76. The honor came at the end of the first quarter of Friday’s Comets football game versus the Midview Middies and was bestowed at the 20 yard line. O’Flanagan beamed and blew kisses to the crowd. A tremendous supporter of Amherst athletics, he even coached the Comets football team in the 1970s and kept a great deal of memorabilia at his restaurant, which was sold this spring to fellow alumnus Chris Russo. “Really, it’s in great hands,” O’Flanagan said of Russo.
“Amherst is my home. All three of my kids graduated from Amherst High School. The city of Amherst has such loyal and great customers for all those years and I’m sure that’s continuing now. It’s been a great place to live and raise children,” O’Flanagan said. Steele High School, Comets sports teams, theater and band students, and other local groups helped his restaurant grow and move forward through the decades, he told the News-Times.