Sara’s Story

The Sara’s Story

Located at the gateway of Presque Isle State Park, Sara’s is the must-stop hot spot for great Erie food and a great time. Visitors and locals agree–whether you’re setting out for an afternoon of sun and sand or heading home after a day at the beach, you’ve gotta eat at Sara’s.

Nothing says summer fun like Sara’s Restaurant… we were even selected as the “Fun Food Place to Eat” by WQDE!

The Beginning

It was a beautiful spring day, and the first day my new ice cream stand, Sara’s, was open.  What could possibly go wrong?  Suddenly, I saw black smoke pouring out of one of the soft serve machines. Frantically, I began opening the machine to find the problem. In disbelief, I realized there was black smoke because the ice cream was frozen and the belts were stuck!  While reaching in to change the bad belts, I saw that my second and final machine began smoking!  My career was finished before it even began!  Devastated and teary eyed, I reached for the phone to call my brother for advice.  Before I could get a word out—crash! —one of my only customers had slammed  into my flagpole hurling it through a plate glass window, sending shards of glass everywhere!   Frantically I explained to my brother what just happened.  His response: welcome to the business world.  I laughed with tears streaming down my face.  It was year one—1980.  My only employee was Kerry Hughes.  This was was the beginning of Sara’s Story

 Why Sara’s?

I had just finished college, and I didn’t know what to do with my life.  My mother, Sara Coyne, then asked me a question that would change my life. What do you think about opening an ice cream stand? Because I was was young and impulsive and without much direction, I naïvely said, “sounds good”. I decided to name my ice cream stand Sara’s after my mother and best friend.  Located at the entrance of Presque Isle State Park, home to beautiful beaches, thick forests, historical lagoons, and magnificent wild life, I couldn’t wait to begin my journey.  It all started slowly, but every year after our first,  our Sara’s story became better and better thanks to the support of our customers and hard-working staff throughout our 40 years of business.

Our philosophy and culture

Our goal is to offer the best quality products we can find, as well as excellent customer service.  At Sara’s, we have developed a traditional American menu such as our homemade onion rings, homemade zucchini sticks, char-grilled hot dogs, mouth-watering burgers, and our wide ranging condiment selection.  Additionally, we offer milkshakes with real fruit– not syrups–, sundaes that are unbeatable, and our famous orange sherbet /vanilla twist soft serve. We strive to deliver an excellent menu and customer experience while also being as fast and efficient in our service allowing you to spend more time with your friends and family and less time standing in line.


The staff at Sara’s believes, “Food tastes better with a smile.” For instance. we want you to laugh, smile, and even shake your head in disbelief. Our goal is to make every customer’s day a little better. Welcome to Sara’s and thanks for spending your precious time with us!!!

Thank you for your support its greatly appreciated.


Sean Candela and staff



WQED Pittsburgh as a “fun food place”

Roads Magazine Link

Backroad Planet Link

2017 Erie’s Choice Awards Best Lunch

2017 Erie’s Choice Awards Best Outdoor Seating

2015 Erie’s Choice Awards Best Ice Cream