The year was 1959. So much was different back then. Miami was much smaller than today. Life flowed at a slower, snail’s pace. With my older brother, Ronnie, a shy five year old, my mom, Flaminia Arbetter, waited to board a city bus. They lived way out in west Miami near the Everglades. They were headed all the way to downtown Flagler and east 4th avenue. The buses ran intermittently so they just sat there at the bus stop and waited. Along with Ronnie, my Mom was carrying a big pot of homemade chili. She intended to take it to Arbetter Hot Dogs, downtown Miami, where my Dad, Robert “Bob” Arbetter was busy chopping onions in order to open at ten a.m. The chili might as well have been a pot of gold. My Mom was born in Central Italy. Incredible cooking ran in her family and she created a masterpiece when she made the recipe for the legendary, Arbetter’s chili.
My Dad would wake up every morning at five and drive downtown to buy the fresh vegetables, hot dogs, buns, and anything else he would need in order to serve people at his beloved restaurant, Arbetter Hot Dogs. It was a dream of his to open a hot dog stand ever since his father, Doctor Joseph Arbetter, used to take him after school, in Saugus, Massachussetts, to watch the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park. They would always stop on the way, at the venerable, “Joe & Nemo’s” hot dog stand right down the road from Fenway. “Joe &Nemo’s” was almost as legendary as Ted Williams, my Dad’s favorite player. It was established in 1909. He loved the simplicity of the place. He was amazed at how everyone seemed to know each other and how the steam rose out of the steam tables when they grabbed the soft, hot buns, in order to combine them with the boiled hot dogs. My Dad’s favorite dog to order at “Joe & Nemo’s” was the “all-around”. That was a hot dog topped with fresh mustard, onion, and relish. Back then, in Boston, they would hide the relish under the dog. Of course, years later, at Arbetter’s in Miami, you could order it that way if you said, “Bob, gimme an all-around Joe & Nemo’s style.” In any case, my Dad’s life-long ambition was to run a successful hot dog restaurant.
Arbetter Hot Dogs was born out of the love of making people happy. My parents loved to serve great, fresh food. They also loved people. My parents always told us to work hard, be honest, and treat your customers like gold. Those three principles are the foundation upon which Arbetter’s was built. This business has been in our family for over sixty-two years.. We are proud of that.
Arbetter’s is all about family. We are a family run enterprise. We have my sister Jill, my nephews, Andrew and Casey, my wife Patty, my son’s Lil’ Dave, Austin and Charles. Our extended family includes Celeste, Jeremy, Joe, Ernie, John and Cousin Toltz. Together, we plan on working hard, loving our customers, and serving great fresh food. Our goal is to operate one Arbetter's to the best of our ability and make Arbetter's the greatest hot dog joint in the land!