Thursday, May 15, 2008
Memories of Famous Freddie's
Downtown on the southwest corner of Hitt and Locust was a neat little hot dog shop called Famous Freddie's. In the mid 1980's an MU student, working with limited funds and hard work, renovated a derelict building to open a shrine for his home city of Chicago. On the walls inside were posters of the Chicago sports teams along with movie stills and city scenes related to his home town. He had all the meat shipped in from Chicago to recreate their famous style of serving hot dogs, which I guess was one part meat and nine parts fixings because he piled it on. It was like a full, balanced meal that fit in your hand.
In the beginning Freddy was the one who took your order and also the person that piled on all the ingredients to make a wonderfully flavored experience. He would explain what made a good Chicago style hot dog in a neat accent that sounded like a gangster from a 1940's movie. It did not take long for Famous Freddie's to become, well, famous as MU students flocked there for the excellent hot dogs and Polish sausages. Freddy did so well that he opened another location in St. Louis and was gone much of the time. Soon afterward the store closed with the rumor that the Famous Freddie's in St. Louis was going so well that he did not have time to run both stores. There was also a rumor that he had sold the rights to a company that planned on franchising it out. What ever the story I just remember how good those hot dogs were and the fact that a college student built a business from the ground up and did well. I don't know if he even graduated from MU or not but I remember good food for a good price close to campus.