As word spread that the landmark WindMill restaurants had been sold, there was worry yet another icon of our youth would be lost forever.

Would the WindMill go the way of the Circus Drive-In in Wall, or the Dover Diner, or Winklemann's in Lakewood?

Facebook/ WindMill Hotdogs
Facebook/ WindMill Hotdogs

Owners Rena and Steven Levine broke the news on their Facebook page.

"Though bittersweet, as a family, we have made the difficult decision to sell The WindMill restaurants," the couple wrote, "Since 1976, we have had the honor of serving you delicious food that made us a Jersey Shore icon."

WindMill is known for their hot dogs and have locations in West Long Branch, North Long Branch, Red Bank, Belmar, and Asbury Park.

The biggest news, however, is that the new owners don't really plan to change a thing.

"The journey is not over," the Levine's proclaimed, "In fact, WindMill’s new owner, Ralph Epstein, looks forward to growing the brand and persevering our family tradition.

Facebook/ WindMill Hotdogs
Facebook/ WindMill Hotdogs

Reaction to the news was a mix of gratitude and hope.

"Thank you for so many great years of delicious food. Thank you for all of your hard work and giving so generously to the communities in which you have served," wrote one fan.

"As long as the new owners are smart & don’t change the food, they’ll have many more successful years ahead," wrote another.

Epstein is from Ocean Township and owns two golf courses. He is acutely aware of the iconic brand he is buying, telling the Asbury Park Press, "Everything will be kept the same. The menu is staying as is. It's been working since 1963."

The new owner also held open the possibility of expansion with new locations already under consideration.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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