I always think about food when I’m in Chautauqua County. There's so many good places to eat.  Today, I'm at a place that serves one of my favorite foods.  It's so good, they sell tons of it.

I’m at Davidson's Restaurant in Lakewood.  The restaurant is famous for its fish fry.  It’s held every day.  The fish is so good, the restaurant sells three tons of it every month. Three tons.  That’s 6,000 pounds!  That has been the standard, year after year, for decades.

"Our customers have been so loyal to us over the years,” says owner Leslie Davidson Genareo.  “We have grandparents that bring their grandchildren here.  Whole family units that come.  That multi-generational family that keeps coming back to us is really so special." 

Davidson's Restaurant is all about family.  It was founded by Robert and Margrete Davidson in 1950, serving charcoal-cooked hot dogs, drinks, and ice cream. It became a drive-in restaurant in 1960.  The fish fry began in 1963.  Robert and Margrete's son Ron and his wife Linda owned the restaurant for 40 years. It is now owned by Ron and Linda’s daughter Leslie. The tradition of serving delicious fish has continued for three generations. 

"We buy a high quality product,” says Leslie.  “We're very careful about what fish we buy. It's an Icelandic White Fish. My father has been to Iceland to go see the trawlers, the ships that it was on. We buy fresh-frozen at sea.  We take good care of it."  

The history of the restaurant is documented by pictures on the walls. The walls also display old menus from when the fish fry cost under a buck. This is a special place.  Customers at Davidson's keep coming back.  Employees don't want to leave.

"Seven have been here over 35 years.  A manager that's retiring has been here over 45 years. Just a lot of people staying.  Thankfully they're very loyal to us and we're loyal back to them,” says Leslie.  

Davidson's Restaurant and its famous fish.  A Chautauqua County favorite for 73 years and still going strong.  Leslie has a 14-year old son who someday could be the fourth generation owner of the business. 

By the way, Davidson's serves more than just fish.  It offers burgers, hot dogs, and other sandwiches.  We're told the fried chicken is also a big favorite with  customers.