George started with a wooden hot dog cart that had wood spoked wagon wheels and was located on an empty lot with a two billboards on the corner of Elmora Ave. and Lidgerwood Ave. in Elizabeth. 1954
– George had his cart in front of the two billboards (located on the right) near the street in the corner empty lot on the right. The old Economy Color Card Co. parking lot is caddy-corner from it.
He eventually bought the lot and built a concrete block hot dog stand with a counter that had around 6, 7, maybe 8 round stools with a connected soft ice cream store with walk up windows. (Ala Carvel/Dairy Queen). Below: Georges 1966
The ice cream never took off so either he or the people that he sold it to rebuilt the entire building to include a large dining room and concentrated on hot dogs, hamburgers and the like. After George sold it I heard that he moved back to Greece. Below: Georges 1970
Even with the new building the hot dogs were prepared the same way as they were on the carts, rectangular stainless steel hot water box then into the empty stainless steel rectangular box then to the Pechters bun. The new owners never caught on to the manner that he did business - remember your customers and greet them with a big HELLO and a big bright smile, and treat them like gold. The new owners didn’t do that and they slowly lost the customer base that George had built over the course of 40 years. In fact they acted as if they were doing you a favor by taking your order. Below: Georges 1987
Unfortunately, Georges has been gone for years – replaced by a donut joint. I wish that I knew that they were closing because I might have been able to get the recipe for their chili. Their chili, which was identical to the wooden cart vendor who was at the corner by the school and O’Brian Park playground (2nd Ave. & 7th St.) near the Peterstown outdoor market in Elizabeth in the 1950’s, was unique because there was no meat in it. It was a VERY tasty brownish gelatinous sauce (Corn starch) with tiny brown/reddish brown specs (Spices) in it. Chopped onions were the only solid ingredients. Believe it or not, it was the BEST chili that I have ever tasted. Although they included meat in the chili, The Majestic, Tommy’s, and Jerry’s on Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth were much like Georges years ago but have since lost some of the similarity. A&G Texas Weiner’s on Chestnut St. in Roselle is kinda, sorta close - but no cigar winner either. Their chili is the extremely fine ground oily type that you see so often. Below: Georges 2002
You can explore pictures like this at: http://www.historicaerials.com/default.aspx
<message edited by Food_Fan on Tue, 04/5/11 6:22 PM>