Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Arbetters Hot Dog Stand

Arbetter's is a Miami institution that began as a humble hot dog stand on SW 8th Street back in 1960. I don't remember the exact location, but I do remember it was next door to a Dairy Queen, somewhere near Red Road (SW 57th Avenue). In those days, it was run by Bob and Phyllis Arbetter. Bob was a Boston native and rabid fan of all things basketbal but specifically the Boston Celtics. It was a popular place with local high school students and the nearby University of Miami. The chili and corn dogs were the favorite items on the menu along with the chili cheese fries as they still are today. As I remember, Bob lost his lease on the original site back in 1972 and moved to the current location on Bird Road and SW 87th Avenue. Today it is a favorite after school hang out for Columbus High School students and those like myself that can't resist a good CO and Coke! His son Ronnie a Southwest HS graduate ran the place until 2008 when he passed away at the young age of 52 due to pancreatic cancer. Ronnie was a chip off the old block and played basketball in high school while working his every free time at the stand with his dad and mom. He was much loved by all the regulars and will be sorely missed. Ronnie  loved the Dolphins and the Canes as much as his Dad loved the Celtics. Ronnie and his Mom and Dad gave countless high school and college students their first job and their story is a classic american working class success that imbued all that came in contact with them a true sense of honor integrity and love of life. To me, Arbetter's is a constant reminder of what it was like to grow up in Miami surrounded by folks that really cared and always offered a kind word or helping hand. If you'd like to step back in time to those days, do drop by Arbetter's and enjoy a great dog and fries!


Anonymous said...

Last I knew, it's still there and on the corner of 87th Ave and Bird Rd. The corner of Bird Rd. & 57th Ave. had the Allen's Drugstore

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember The Wheel on 32nd Ave, south of Coral Way, or Rocky's Italian Restaurant?

Dave said...

Hi Anita: You are thinking of Paley's Big Wheel which was on SW 32nd Avenue and just south of Coral Way between 23rd and 24th Street and which also had a second location on the corner of Flagler St. and SW 57th Ave. The car hops were on roller skates and wore pink and gray uniforms in the summer. They were famous for their fries and onion rings and their "Big Moe" sandwiches. After about 40 years of operation in the same location, Seymour Paley relocated the restaurant to Broward County in the 1990's.