Tony’s Lunch in Bloomsburg is a seemingly normal place to grab a quick bite to eat, but it is a truly unique establishment with a history even more surprising than its “Fluff Burger.”
After realizing many students and other members in the Bloomsburg area were traveling all the way to the original Tony’s Lunch in Girardville, Joseph Salukas and his wife Angie decided to open shop in Bloomsburg as a branch from the original.
“We were looking for a good place to open up, and Bloomsburg was perfect,” says Joe.
The origin of Tony’s Lunch and their famous “Screamer” began in the 1940’s. “Tony Fulginiti was in the military and while he was stationed in Texas, he got the recipe off a man there for the screamer sauce,” Salukas.
Although the ownership of Tony’s has changed, the recipe for the screamer sauce has stayed the same.
Tony Fulginiti opened the first Tony’s Lunch in Girardville around this time. In 1975, Joseph Salukas’s father bought Tony’s Lunch. “My father was actually drunk one night and went for a burger and told Mrs. Fulginiti that he was going to buy the place one day, and the next day it was for sale,” Salukas, recalling how his family came to own Tony’s. “My father bought Tony’s Lunch on a handshake.”
The walls of the original Tony’s in Girardville are covered with dollar bills.
“It started off as a dollar from the first customer, and then all of a sudden everyone wanted to put a dollar on the wall.”
Salukas’s family was able to donate a couple hundred dollars for breast cancer research from all of the dollars they had. While it is not nearly as extensive as the walls in Girardville, some customers have put their dollars on the fridge at Tony’s in Bloomsburg.
Over the years some rumors have been started about how the “Screamer” got its name. Most say it’s because the sauce is so hot.
Tony’s Lunch has a small menu offering burgers, hot dogs, fries, and cheesesteaks. All can be ordered with or without screamer sauce. Perhaps the most interesting item on the menu is the “ Fluff Burger,” which is a hamburger with screamer sauce, cheese, onions, and marshmallow fluff.
Customers also really enjoy the cheesesteaks. The cheesesteaks at Tony’s Lunch come with cheese, onions, spaghetti sauce, and screamer sauce. “Some people even order the cheesesteaks with the fluff,” says Angie Salukas.
Lindsay McAndrew , a Junior at Bloomsburg University, has been eating Fluff Burgers for years. “I tried a fluff burger the very first time I ate at Tony’s, without screamer sauce. One day I tried the fluff burger with the sauce, and I’ve been eating it ever since.”
To most people, even the words “burger with marshmallow fluff” sounds strange, but not to the customers at Tony’s.
“You really just have to try it to see how good it is. It’s sweet mixed with hot… It’s just a great combo,” says McAndrew, defending the Fluff burger.
Tony’s Lunch is located on Main Street by Subway.
Reported by ALEX STEINHILB