The first official day of spring is a couple weeks away, but some say it starts the day Harry’s Place opens.

“We love it. Like I said, it’s like a meeting place,” Kathleen Morrey, of Colchester, said.

Harry’s Place is a classic spot in Colchester, known for its burgers, hot dogs and fries. Morrey was not only there on opening day, but she was also the very first customer in line.

“Oh, I just had to order three hamburgers with cheese. Then the regular fries with melted cheese on it, then I got sweet potato,” Morrey said.

Richard Swider is a lifelong Colchester resident and a regular customer at Harry’s Place.

“I come here about three times a week. They got wonderful fries, really good,” Richard Swider, of Colchester, said.

Harry’s Place has been in business since 1920. The original Harry sold it to another family in the 1930s. That family then passed the torch in 1978 to the family who owns it today.

“At this point, they call me Harry. I say ‘No, I’m just the third Harry, but not the Harry,'” Head Manager John Garet said.

Garet opened up his shop at 11 a.m. on Friday for his 47th season.

He said his favorite part about the business is the excitement of opening day, when he can fire up the grills, turn on the fryers and serve hungry customers.

Garet said he also appreciates the support from his staff who have kept him in business and Harry’s Place alive all these years.

“I’ve always heard Harry’s is a sign of spring. We always look at it like that, and so far, so good,” Garet said.

Harry’s Place is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will stay open longer in the spring and summer. It closes in mid-October.

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