Skip to comments.Fred Hakim, Times Square Hot-Dog Vendor, Dies at 83
Posted on 05/26/2012 12:50:37 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Fred Hakims family owned a hole-in-the-wall hot-dog counter in Times Square that was the last of its kind when New York decided to revitalize the area in the 1990s by condemning dozens of establishments like it. It was a seven-seat, 250-square-foot piece of Edward Hopper streetscape at 229-31 West 42nd Street, which Mr. Hakims father had opened in 1941 and wryly named the Grand Luncheonette.
Mr. Hakim (pronounced HAY-kim) tried to keep the place open as a sort of living museum of the golden age of hawkers and honky-tonks in Times Square. But the city had other ideas, and after a two-year fight, he was evicted on Oct. 19, 1997.
He died on April 25 at age 83.
Mr. Hakim seemed stumped by the economics of the Times Square redevelopment. In conversations with family members, and in interviews with the many reporters who crowded his joint in its last days, he often asked, Where are the people who just want a hot dog and a knish?
Working for his father from age 13, Mr. Hakim was witness to a New Yorkers version of the history of the world. From the counter, he saw bobby-soxers rounding the corner to swoon over Frank Sinatra at the Paramount. He watched the crowds flood the street like a dam burst on V-E Day May 8, 1945 which also marked the end of the wartime brownout, when the lights in Times Square the billboards, the marquees, the windows in every building that had been dark for three years blazed once again.
He met a world of shoeshine men, longshoremen, sailors, drug dealers, prostitutes and policemen in the gritty years. He called it a symbiotic relationship, his son Mark said. You depended on each other, and no one was in anybodys business.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Fred Hakim, left, and his son Glenn at their hot-dog stand on 42nd Street in Manhattan in 1997.
I just scarfed 4 chili dawgs with onions yesterday.
How’s your fruit vendor?
Many, many ... (did I say many?), years ago, there was a little hole-in-the-wall joint in Boston by the name of Joe and Nemo's. I think it was on Washington street, on the south end of what was then the red light district.
I remember no seats, standing at a counter only, maybe eight or ten bodies at a time and the specialty was boiled hamburger.
They boiled a hamburger patty and it was damned delicious too.
there was mustard, ketchup , sweet relish and chopped onions on those counters.
You ordered hot dog or hamburger, (I don't remember any drinks .. coke or whatever), fixed it at the counter, and left.
I think I remember something like ten cents a pop.
Many, many ..... er ... many, years ago.
It seems like these days the old and time honored is too easily thrown out in favor of the new. There’s nothing better than a really good hotdog with the thick casing that pops when you bite it and with all the fixings. Now I’m hungry for one, or four.
I love places like that!
Amen! It’s hard to find a decent Dawg nowadays
Approved and frequented by Me, Boom Boom Mancini, Bernie Kosar, Ernie Shavers and my Son. Pure Americana. The Gyros Rock!
A hot dog at Jacobs field with Bertman Ball Park Mustard and Kraut rocks!
It’s so great it was sent into space to placate one of the astronauts!
Bummer about the Yankers! LOL
The dogs are great, and you don't see drinks like cherry smash or a chocolate rickey served many places anymore......
--H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
They had hot wolves.
Later, they did have wieners, but they called them vindoboners.
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