The funny signs and sports memorabilia are still around even though Bob Arbetter isn’t. He passed away in 2003, but Andy Lister and his brother, Casey Lister, have carried on the same ideas and principles that have kept Arbetter Hot Dogs open for 48 years: Treat employees and customers like family, and never change grandma’s secret chili recipe.
But the chili isn’t the only thing that has remained the same. Monstrous portions of chili cheese fries and their infamous boiled hot dogs, with all the fixings, top off an otherwise unchanged menu with the exception of one or two new items.
“In 48 years, all we’ve added are corn dogs and the ATM machine,” Casey said.
Their mother, Jill Arbetter, is co-owner with the boys’ uncle David. Andy and Casey, who do everything at the restaurant—from cooking, to cleaning to serving the food—hopes to one day inherit the family business.
Despite the ever-growing popularity of the Arbetter name, Casey, 19, and Andy, 22, both students at the Kendall Campus, are actively trying to advance their education.
The brothers—self-proclaimed comedians—give off an easy-going vibe. And who can blame them?
The siblings appear to have a bright future on their hands.
Working at the restaurant since he was 15, Andy started off just like any other employee.
“My uncle was running it at the time,” Lister said. “I started off making french fries and worked my way up to hot dogs.”
Andy hopes to get his business degree in the future; he believes that earning his degree can only help the Arbetter brand grow, but admits that running such a popular place can put school on the back burner at times. Talks of expansion and making the business bigger and better is common between the two, but the boys’ goal is clear: Keep the place going strong.
To do so, keeping that family atmosphere is important, they say.
Reminders of that mentality are plentiful at Arbetter’s.
According to a sign in the restaurant, if you declare your love for former Boston Celtics legendary forward Larry Bird at Arbetter, your first drink refill is on the house.
“My grandfather was from Boston,” Andy said. “I like [the Celtics], but personally, I’m a die-hard Miami Heat fan.”
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