Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs.

Michelle and I, finally ventured forth into the world last Friday. It has been months since we visited Chris’ Hot Dogs. It was still as great as it has ever been. I ate too much naturally. 4 hot dogs all-the-way (mustard, sour kraut and special sauce) and an order of fries that are to die for, along with an ice-cold bottled Coca-Cola. The special sauce is a family secret known by only 3 people.

Chris’ was founded on May 1st, 1917 by a Greek immigrant “Christopher Anastasios Katchis”. It was said he learned English by reading the newspaper with help from friends. Located on Dexter Ave. halfway between the Court Square Fountain (center of town) and the state capitol.

  • Dexter Ave would see the first electric streetcar in America, “The lightning route”.
  • It would witness the calling of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr to the ministry.
  • The order to start the American Civil War was sent by telegram, from Dexter Ave.
  • Rosa Parks, would refuse to give up her bus seat there. Sparking the Civil Rights Era
  • The march from Selma to Montgomery by Rev Martin Luther King Jr., passed up Dexter in front of Chris’

Many notable and famous people have frequented Chris’ over the years.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (who would frequently ask for a box of the world-famous hot dogs as his train stopped in Montgomery’s Union Station), Harry Truman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Presidents Bush 41 & 43, Jimmy Stewart, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Clark Gable, Tallulah Bankhead, countless sports stars and every Alabama Governor since 1917.

May 1st marked the 103 year anniversary of Chris Hot dogs. If you grew up in Montgomery, Alabama you knew of Chris’, and would return there for a hot dog or burger on your return visits.

When I was a child of about 10, my mother, father, and little brother would walk 9 blocks downtown to enjoy a hot dog or burger. It was an infrequent trip, as we had no vehicle and were pretty poor. We would sit in the booths and flip the pages on the little machines that each booth had to play the Jukebox. Dad would always give each of us a coin for the box, and we would pick out a couple of songs. I have been going there from time to time, for the last 58 years.

It was great seeing “E” again, that is what we know her as. Possibly the sweetest person you will ever meet that serves customers of Chris’. Every time she greets you, she has this big sweet welcoming smile and that southern” Hello darling, usual?” She remembers what you had the last time you were there. Even if it’s been months. Great spirit each time you see her. She has been working there, 42 years. Our favorite Chris’ person.
Images, are clickable.

This is how it looked when Michelle and I went.

It was very hot. AC was on the blink.
Only every other booth open.

So that is our favorite place to go eat hot dogs at. Michelle said she came there when she was 12 with her parents.
Comments always welcome.

11 thoughts on “Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs.

  1. Clearly it is time for me to leave the computer and go have lunch! Great story. We loved a parallel place in Oregon called “Campbells’ Barbecue.” Chain places will never equal these small ones.

  2. MMMM that looks so yummy!!!! Love that stuff! But 4! You ate 4!!!!! Heh, hope you didn’t have a bellyache later!
    So you live near the famous Montgomery, then, Ron?

    1. Yes, I ate four. They were great while I was there, but I thought I would need a shoe horn to get me back in the SUV. Oh, I had a bellyache alright. Michelle got to tell me, “I told you so”.

      Yes, 25 miles south of us down I-65 south, is the famous shooting range, I mean, Montgomery. Everyone is moving out of there in a mass exodus. There’s no quality of life there now. My brother was a cop there for 32 years. He is moving. They had a roving shootout on his corner one night and his car was hit 4 times.

  3. The only real solution, and this sounds far-fetched, is to build more isolated prisons. Enforce the gun laws we have, putting those that use a gun for a crime, in prison for a minimum of 10 years. If they murder someone, they get life, without parole. It would fill up the new prisons to start with, but after the first 5 years or so, you would see a reduction in the use of firearms by criminals. Currently, there is no real hard and consistent penalty for a criminal having a firearm and using it. The laws are there, but not really enforced.

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