Burgers, bows salute Hynoski Community photo set Sunday as businesses join excitement
WEIGH SCALES - The Wayside Inn has a monstrous burger fit for - not a king - but a bruising NFL fullback.
Standing nearly 6 inches tall and weighing in at one-half pound, the aptly named Giant Hyno Burger salutes the 6-1, 266-pound Henry Hynoski, the 23-year-old Southern Columbia Area alumnus
who will be playing with the New York Giants in the Super Bowl Feb. 5 against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.
"There's no other sandwich like it. It was created for Henry because of Henry," Brenda Tamanini, bartender and server at the Route 61 bar and grille, said Friday.
While the Hyno Burger has been on the menu since October, when Hynoski visited the Wayside as part of an autograph session, it is getting renewed attention with the Super Bowl's approach and the first appearance of a local person in the Super Bowl since Mahanoy Joint (now Line Mountain) graduate Glenn Ressler played in 1969 and 1971 games for the Colts. Other businesses are joining in the hype for Hyno, making bows and planning other special events.
Kurt Masser, the state representative and Wayside owner, said Hynoski himself offered some guidance on its creation. The Elysburg native has ordered his namesake burger when he's back in the area.
The massive sandwich starts with two quarter-pound patties of hamburger meat - fresh, never frozen - and is grilled over an open flame. The first patty is topped with a slice of cooper cheese, several strips of bacon and a special Wayside Inn barbecue sauce. The second patty is slapped on top of the first, then treated with another slice of cheese, several onion rings and even more barbecue sauce. It's served with a side order of chips and a pickle for $7.99.
Because of its size, Tamanini said most customers try to flatten the sandwich as much as possible.
"It's exciting, everything about it," she said.
Masser said he coached Hynoski in youth football and could see something special in him then.
"We're so proud of his accomplishments, not only in the NFL, but also because of the man he's become. With all the hard work, he accomplished his dream," Masser said.
He expressed how excited he is for the big game.
"He's such a good guy from a great family. It makes it that much sweeter," he said.
Tamanini and Masser both said how it didn't matter who their own individual team was or when they were playing. If Hynoski was on, they were watching him.
"I think he changed football for everybody this season," Tamanini said.
In addition to the burger, Hynoski's jersey and a blown-up fake newspaper announcement is displayed in a glass case near the entrance, and there's a painting of him from his SCA football days.
On the weekend of the Super Bowl, the burgers will be half-price if you wear a Hynoski jersey.
Ribbons and bows
Crystal Morelli, manager of Crystal Ann Creations on Route 54 in Elysburg, is making handmade bows in support of Hynoski and the Giants, and is asking volunteers to hang them up across the community on telephone poles and trees.
There will be approximately 60 bows, which are mostly blue with white and red ribbons hanging off the main part of the design with either Hynoski's name, number or team association. Additionally bows can be purchased at the store for $4.
She also plans on putting a message on their front sign and hanging bows around the property.
Customers or volunteers can call 672-9661 to order or offer to help.
Michelle Orner, owner of New Beginnings, Shamokin, said a banner and bows will be placed around their store on West Water Street and employees will hand out Oh Henry! candy bars to customers on Friday and Saturday of Super Bowl weekend.
"It's awesome. We're proud of him. He's from a small town," Orner said. "It's a good thing to let kids know that even though they're from a small town, they can be bigger and better. They can go places."
Since she's from Paxinos, her children attend SCA, and her son, a 2010 graduate, played junior varsity football with Hynoski.
Lynn Snyder, owner of Just Picture It, Tharptown, is organizing a community photograph for Hynoski at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Southern's Tiger Stadium. Anyone from anywhere who supports Hynoski or the Giants is welcome to join in.
"It's nice to actually have some good news instead of hearing about bad news," the Elysburg woman said.
Her son, a 2008 graduate, played high school football with Hynoski and has three state championship rings from years he played with him. Their families have been friends for 23 years.
"He's a good kid. Always has been. He's got a wonderful family, and it's such a huge, big deal, to have someone not drafted, a local boy, a great kid, and playing in the Super Bowl his first year. How often does that happen in our lifetime?" she said.
"Gee," she added with a laugh, "what's he going to do his second year?"
The Fun Shop, 3 W. Independence St., Shamokin, will also be making red, white and blue bows and selling mylar foil balloons with the Giants logo.
Knoebels Amusement Park has a painted sign showing its support above their main billboard near one of the entrances to the park.
Woody Heaps, owner of Woody's Place: Heaps Family Diner in Catawissa, displayed a message in support of Hynoski on his front sign and has a corner of the counter dedicated to him with a signed photograph and a hat.
"I hope they win. You don't know how bad I want them to win," he said Friday.