Raw footage for "Chicago Slices," a series about everyday life in Chicago. This video features a trip to Harrie's Deli in Glencoe, where Ben Jarovsky interviews owner Maurie Andes about his history as a hot dog stand owner, his sandwich making techniques, and his secret to success and happiness as a business owner and person.
00:00Copy video clip URL Inside Harrie’s Deli, owner Maurie Andes tends to a customer, then runs through all the items they have in the deli case. He compares his current business to how he started as a hot dog stand owner at Lawrence and Lawndale in 1972. He says they started with only hot dogs, and later added burgers and a few other items, until the late 1980s.
04:00Copy video clip URL Andes introduces the junior general manager, Gary Horns, and talks about how Horns’ father used to work for him years ago at the hot dog stand, and that he and his wife have recently opened another “Harrie’s” out in Las Vegas.
05:30Copy video clip URL Andes says that the secret to success in the restaurant business is a combination of hard work, perseverance, luck, and personality. Horns emphasizes the importance of relationships, noting that many people come in the restaurant because they are connected to Andes or to Horns’ father. Andes says that you have to enjoy the business, because there are days when you may have to work twenty hours. He calls customer satisfaction “the easiest thing in the world to do” and goes on to say how much he’s enjoyed working with people. Andes also expresses gratitude toward his children, who all have turned out to be successful.
09:50Copy video clip URL Horns points out that the important thing is to put smiles on people’s faces. Andes, claiming to be generally interested in people, talks about a customer as the customer pays, noting pretty specific details. Andes reiterates that it’s all about the people.
13:50Copy video clip URL Andes tends to another customer, noting that he knows exactly what her husband likes to order. Andes reportedly has a knack for remembering people’s names and information about them, perhaps because he’s been doing it for 40 years, and loves it. Andes again emphasizes customer satisfaction as the key to success.
18:18Copy video clip URL Andes helps another customer, noting that she’s a bright theology teacher at either Loyola or DePaul, and works at the Japanese consulate as a translator. Andes also talks about another customer whose father was a Chicago politician.
20:20Copy video clip URL Andes goes over to the slicer to prepare corned beef for a customer, and talks about the product. He weighs it, wraps it, and brings it to the counter. Then, he gives a “tour” of all the bagels and bread products, and demonstrates the bread cutter and the hot dog steamer. Cutting some more corned beef, he says, “we love everybody even when they want things that are not, what they say, ‘normal.'”
28:07Copy video clip URL Andes says that while he is about to turn 67 years-old, he is in good health, and hopes to “continue going and satisfying customers.”
30:50Copy video clip URL Andes notes that his wife wants him to cut down on working and retire. If he did retire, Andes says he would work with homeless people or babies who need help, such as babies who are addicted to drugs.
32:10Copy video clip URL They discuss politics, and how some guys from the old neighborhood have gotten more conservative over time. Andes says that he’s a liberal and his family members are also liberals. The subject changes to sports, and how Andes would get tickets to sporting events because “at that time, you couldn’t get anybody to go.” Originally from Montreal, Andes is a huge hockey fan.
35:12Copy video clip URL Andes talks about his old neighborhood on Lawrence Avenue, and how the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood changed over the years. He says it used to be more diverse, and that more recently it has become an Asian neighborhood. He agrees that the hot dog stand could not survive there any more. He helps another customer who orders a sandwich.
39:00Copy video clip URL Seeing a few of his “old timer” customers passing by, Andes notes that they come every week from a pinochle game, and that they’re very nice people and enjoyable to serve. He helps them purchase lottery tickets as they chat about whether the lottery is rigged. Andes continues to talk gregariously and smile as he helps customers out.
45:00Copy video clip URL Videomaker Doug Sawyer asks Andes to name his favorite sandwich, and Andes answers that pastrami is his favorite, and then he and Horns joke about how he used to eat at least one hot dog every day. Andes returns to the topic of how important it is to enjoy what you do. He smiles, reiterating that he loves people and loves to wait on them and make people happy.
48:35Copy video clip URL Sawyer asks whether you can tell the differences between people based on what they eat. Andes responds by saying that that you can’t really tell based on what they eat, though generally people stick to their regular habits. Sawyer asks him about why Harrie’s is spelled the way it is. Andes is not sure, but that a man named Harry took over the restaurant years ago and they kept the name.
53:43Copy video clip URL End of tape.