|About John and Mary's|
In 1951 John Guida told his sister Rose, (who later opened and owned Mama Roses) that he was going to open a sandwich shop on Harlem road in Cheektowaga. When Rose saw where he was going to buy she asked him if he planned to sell to dead people because the building was across from a cemetery.
In 1952 Johnny’s opened it doors for the first time with three sandwiches; the Regular, (Cappacolla) for .50 cents, the royal (Cappacolla and Sausage) for .75 cents, and the Sausage for 60 cents. Later around 1954 the A-Bomb was added, which was Sausage and home made hot sauce.
John opened the restaurant and called it Johnny’s… well that lasted about a minute because Mary told him either her name goes up on the sign or “the hell with him” needless to say her name went up very quickly!
Legend has it that John Guida talked to Angelo Constanzo (Constanzo’s bakery) and asked Angelo to make his rolls thinner and 12 inches, and John called them Submarines.
Well those dead people could eat! John and his wife Mary would get 150 dozen rolls delivered Friday and another 100 dozen delivered Sunday.
1800 rolls sold Friday and Saturday. Every roll and tomato sliced by hand. On Friday night the customers would line up waiting until 1200 to east sausage, back then you could not eat meat on ANY Friday. John would start cooking sausage at 1100 to be ready for midnight, where 200 customers would line up to eat meat every Friday.
Every night John and Mary also opened up their store for the teenagers from Cleveland High School. John would let them dance and have the run of the store from 7:00 at night until 9:00 at night. Then John would throw all the kids out and get ready for the dinner crowd. Every night was also cruse night, with more hot rods then you see in the show rooms of today.
Back then John, Mary and their two kids, Jim and Bob worked everyday, 1000 until 2 in the morning, from Mid March until 1 Nov, when they closed for the winter to relax.
1960- John and his brother Sam opened the Transit rd J&M with brother Sam and John’s son Jim.
1966 John sold J&M Harlem to Joe and Jennet Scott (whose son Jimmy Scott still owns and operates the store) who were friends of John and Mary.
1968 John opened up J&M Sheridan, on the corner of Sheridan and Colvin, which was formerly Brinson’s Drive in. John, Mary and their boys worked in the J&M Sheridan for many years until John died in 1971. While he worked every day he also opened up two more J&M Restaurants.
1969 John opened the Abbot rd J&M with Marge and Loyde Caswell- friends of Joe Scott
From 1998 to 2003 Mary retired every year on November 1st and then came back to work on November 2nd until 2001 when she retired for good, she was 81. Today she is 88 and still can be seen on Saturdays coring tomatoes and yelling at everyone at the Niagara Falls BLVD or Transit rd J&Ms.
2005 Bob was brought back in the business by his son, Rob who came home from the army, they opened the Delaware J&M and resumed the operation of the Sheridan/Ashford J&M, with son John. 2006 Bob and Rob moved the Delaware location to Niagara Falls BLVD.
Today Mary is 89 and there are 4 generations of Guida’s still proudly asking Mayo or oil.
Past and Current J&Ms
Harlem- 1952 to present