Gone To Hot Dog Heaven
From summer of 1948 to April 2011, Gus Koutroulakis went to work every single day except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. When he took a three week vacation in 1995 it made newspaper, radio, and television headlines.
The legend began when Gus’s uncle Pete bought the tiny hot dog shop in 1939 with $600 he won in a Pinochle game. The shop was little more than a narrow room, accommodating three or four customers at a time. It was strictly stand and eat, usually outside.
In 1948 Gus took over the business when he graduated from Phillips High School. He made his secret sauce recipe at home every night. Only Gus knew the secret and it died with him.
Gus worked so long and hard, bent over the grill, he was no longer able to stand up straight. There was a shelf over the grill in font of him, which made Gus stoop over as he cooked the hot dogs. When someone told Gus he should take the shelf down, he replied, “Where am I going to put the bread?"
In his will, Gus left the Pete’s Famous sign to the Barber motorsports museum.