Survived a Year

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guspas
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Survived a Year - Tue, 09/5/06 10:12 PM
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Bought a long standing (31 years) Hot Dog Stand, The Wiener and Still Champion a little over a year ago and I'm glad to report that I am still here.

I haven't owned my own biz before so it was quite a learning experience.

The previous owner didn't do much to help the stands rep using cheap dogs when he ran out of Vienna and adding Indian Food to the Menu. Indian Food at a hot dog stand?????

Took the Indian food off the menu, made sure I had plenty of all beef natural casing hotdogs, switched to real fresh cut, double cooked fries and added freshly made corndogs to the menu.

Business has doubled and we are getting good word of mouth.

Looking forward to another year.





chicagostyledog
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 09/5/06 10:28 PM
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Way to go Gus. Your next year will even be stronger.

CSD

TheHotPepper.com
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 09/5/06 10:31 PM
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congrats

Oneiron339
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 09/6/06 7:49 AM
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Good for you Gus, keep it going and I'll be sure to visit when I'm in the area.

MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 09/6/06 7:53 AM
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Gus, I enjoyed your company on the great Italian Beef tour and I look forward to having a dog with you soon. Congrats. Mike

bassrocker4u2
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 09/6/06 8:03 AM
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congradulations!!!!! where are u?
anyone ever thought of a shredded bbq dog? hey, you got the buns, just get some q, and sauce, and do it!

texgrill
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 09/13/06 12:56 PM
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Gus

Where are you located? There is a cool site of hot dogs eateries on www.hollyeats.com

Bass
I have kicked that idea around......we are thinking along the same lines.

Ronnie
Tex Grill

MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 09/13/06 7:56 PM
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Maybe Gus is too modest but here's your location and a small review http://chefmoz.org/United_States/IL/Evanston/Wiener_and_Still_Champion1112850807.html

rjb
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 09/13/06 8:23 PM
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Well done and continued good fortune. I started two businesses earlier this year -- one in the barbecue business (www.wholehogllc.com) the other not so interesting -- and appreciate the effort it takes to be an independant businessman these days. Seems like half the work day is non -productive administrative crap.

Keep at it.

Dr of BBQ
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RE: Survived a Year - Thu, 09/14/06 3:49 PM
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Guspas you deserve a big well done. Congratulations on mastering the tremendous learning curve after opening your first business. The reviews were great and that along with word of mouth will make your 2nd year even bigger and better. Good job Gus!

texgrill
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 09/15/06 10:48 AM
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Guspas

I agree with MilwFoodlovers you are definately being modest. I ran the your restaurant on Google and Yahoo. Your business seems to be one of the most successful hot dog stands in the Midwest :)

I would'nt change much with the place. The formula of the previous owner was very successful.

You seem to have bought a gold mine!!

Here is another set of reviews that I found on the net.

http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/35246137#editorialreview

Ronnie
Tex Grill

Sundancer7
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 09/15/06 10:53 AM
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Guspas, I read the reviews and you got a lot of compliments particularly on your fries. How do you do them.

Paul E. Smith
knoxville, TN

Dr of BBQ
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 09/15/06 6:34 PM
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Paul E. Smith wrote you got a lot of compliments particularly on your fries. How do you do them.

Paul hes to busy making them to explain how he makes them.
Jack

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 09/15/06 9:58 PM
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Thanks everybody for all the kind words.

Mike, not modest just lazy.

The stand is located in Evanston, IL just south of Northwestern University

Speaking of reviews, my favorite one that I ran across is here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/TjlypHXquJGnRKzNEd4ysQ

Ronnie
Your reply made me laugh. One of the most successful in the midwest....not even close. Not on any "Best of" list for Illinois and not even regarded as the top stand in Evanston. That honor goes to Mustard's Last Stand. It is located next to the football stadium and closer to the University. They have a better location but if you compare the two, we have the better food. Give us time though.

The comment of the previous owner being successful couldn't be further from the truth.

Paul
Yes..the fries are probably the best thing we make followed by the 1/3 lb cheddar burger and the corn dogs.

No secret to them. Have to be Idaho..fresh cut and double cooked.



guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Mon, 07/30/07 12:31 AM
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made it to year number 2. Woo Hoo

UncleVic
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RE: Survived a Year - Mon, 07/30/07 1:26 AM
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Congrats Guspas.. Your 2/3rds of the way over the hurdle!

chicagostyledog
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RE: Survived a Year - Mon, 07/30/07 8:10 AM
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Two and still counting is a great accomplishment. Love your dogs, especially that deep fried francheezie, you specially prepared for me. Your fries are the best. Keep up the great work.

Mark

rouxdog
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RE: Survived a Year - Mon, 07/30/07 9:19 AM
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Congratulations! Sure would like to chomp down on some of those Taters and a pup or two. You are living out the American dream!!
Ole Rouxdog

Astennu
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RE: Survived a Year - Mon, 07/30/07 9:52 AM
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Congrats! Sounds like you are doing a great job.

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 08/10/07 11:06 PM
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Thanks every but if i had to do it all over again...i would def find a spot that is free standing with parking. Hard to survive a bad location.

on another note, a few cool happening. First off, Got mentioned on that TBS sitcom My Boys. Address mentioned was wrong but hey, thats hollywood for u.

If anyone wants to view it: http://www.tbs.com/video/0,,98364|340865|,00.html

good news, it's within the first 2 mins of the show
bad news, u have to sit thru a chilis commercial

Secondly, placed 4th in French Fries on Best of Citysearch. Not to bad considering no one knew who we were 2 years ago.

http://chicago.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/french_fries




guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Sat, 07/5/08 7:13 AM
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Up to year 3. Where has the time gone?

Still going strong. Business is better then last year and we're gonna be featured on an upcoming Food Network program but we still have a ways to go.

biker jim
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RE: Survived a Year - Sat, 07/5/08 9:27 AM
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Way to go Gus!!! Who'd of thought that you could get famous selling hot dogs huh? But look around at a few people on this forum and you'll see that people love their hot dogs...and their hot dog guys! I'm a few months from my 3 year mark as well. Fun and fun.

davebugg
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RE: Survived a Year - Sat, 07/5/08 5:54 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by guspas

Up to year 3. Where has the time gone?

Still going strong. Business is better then last year and we're gonna be featured on an upcoming Food Network program but we still have a ways to go.


Fantastic, guspas The three year mark is an important milestone.

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/8/08 8:32 AM
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Well Diners, Drive Ins and Dives did sone filming. 11 hrs and they still have to come back at the end of the week. All that work a 6 min segment.

chicagostyledog
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/8/08 2:30 PM

spud
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/8/08 5:27 PM
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SERIOUSLY, you are truly living the dream! An absolute inspiration to everyone else! (I am so jealous)

congratulations

Nightshift
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 07/9/08 3:02 PM
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Congrats, I hope my can be just as successful. Keep up the good work.

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 10/2/09 2:32 AM
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Year 4 has come.  Where has the time gone.  Doing well.  Every year has been better then the last. 

Still alot t learn and alot of improvement ahead.

BillyB
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 10/2/09 7:37 AM
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Gus is doing things the way they should be done...Great job Gus.... IF the fries are what makes you a winner then let everything fall in behind them. It looks like everything you do is quality anyway. The thing is 99% of the places take the fries for granted. Dbl cooking a fresh cut fry is the same way the best restaurants do them. It takes a lot more work, but look at the results. The flavor you get from the fries being cooked this way is second to none....................Bill

saps
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 10/2/09 11:52 AM
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I was there after the Minnesota/Nortwestern game last Saturday.  My son loved their burger.  Fries are great.  Great little joint.

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 10/2/09 7:28 PM
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Bill

I agree.  I think its one of those things that is worth the extra effort and good fries can elevate the hot dogs and burgers that are served

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 10/2/09 8:21 PM
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Saps...were u wearing minnesota jersey??


saps
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RE: Survived a Year - Fri, 10/2/09 10:47 PM
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Yes- that was me.

missed out on the country fried bacon.  Gotta do that next time.

CCinNJ
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RE: Survived a Year - Sat, 10/3/09 9:46 AM
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Gracious! Your country fried bacon looks fantastic!!
  
 http://chicagoist.com/2008/12/16/the_bacon_meme_rolls_on.php
 
You made it for very good reasons! Congratulations!
 
I am curious about the country fried gyros.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sat, 10/3/09 9:51 AM>

Dr of BBQ
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RE: Survived a Year - Sat, 10/3/09 10:02 PM
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saps


Yes- that was me.

missed out on the country fried bacon.  Gotta do that next time.


Not trying to get on anyone's case here but for GOD'S SAKE identify yourself as a ROAD-FOODER when you show up. It's a badge of honer wear it with pride!

Of course if your Buddy Roadhouse you'll show up and he will ask if you sell Italian food at a BBQ stand, and the owner with out looking up reply's no sorry buddy, no realizing who it is for an instant. True story happened just last week.
LOL
Jack

Tell them your a Road Food person and the owner may just invite you into the kitchen and offer you a taste of everything in the house. I know I do, 99% of the time.

<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Sat, 10/3/09 10:04 PM>

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 10/6/09 5:42 PM
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I agree with Dr BBQ.  I like meeting people that i have come across this as well as other web sites

ChiTownDiner
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 10/6/09 8:46 PM
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I can attest to both Jack's and Gus' hospitality and great food!

Congratulations Gus!

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Wed, 10/7/09 1:11 PM
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ChiTownDiner


I can attest to both Jack's and Gus' hospitality and great food!

Congratulations Gus!

Thanks for the kind words

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/6/10 3:13 AM
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5 years.  where has the time gone?  Seems like it was yesturday that I took over this little run down hot dogstand.  It's still  run down but the food is much better.

looking forward to the next 5 years.

Wiener and Still Champion

BillyB
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/6/10 7:18 AM
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Great Job Gus, I wish you many, many, successful years.......BillyB...Time for an Italian dog ??????????????

Dr of BBQ
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/6/10 7:55 AM
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Go Gus Go. Congratulations.

"It's a 3 layered sauce. A Red, White and Blue layer. . Just don't have a name for it so have at it.

Of course it should be called America's Sauce"

Jack

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Tue, 07/6/10 3:16 PM
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America's Sauce.  I like that Jack.  Thanks

Swamp
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RE: Survived a Year - Thu, 07/8/10 4:14 AM
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It's awesome to follow this thread and watch your biz grow stronger.  Congrats and many more succesful years!

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Thu, 07/5/12 5:20 PM
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up to year number 7.  where does the time go?

CCinNJ
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RE: Survived a Year - Thu, 07/5/12 5:25 PM
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Congratulations!

Last week I was watching an episode of United Tastes of America...and you were on! Nice segment!

guspas
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RE: Survived a Year - Thu, 07/5/12 9:01 PM
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yes.  the doughnut episode , of all things

CCinNJ
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RE: Survived a Year - Thu, 07/5/12 9:23 PM
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It was 7am. Perfect time for a Luther Burger...

http://www.wienerandstill...burger-anyone.html?m=1