[The 90’s raw: Gold Coast Dogs]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. Joe Angio goes to the legendary Chicago institution Gold Coast Dogs with Tony Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick interviews patrons and gives his opinions on the importance of the hot dog.

00:00Copy video clip URL The tape opens with a shot of the Gold Coast Dogs sign, and artist Tony Fitzpatrick, with a microphone, praises the hot dog: “I probably eat about 20 hot dogs a week.” He says he heard the hot dog was invented on Coney Island, and talks about how hot dogs are compact. “The only place I never eat a hot dog is at home,” and talks about the social nature of the hot dog: “A hot dog is a celebration.”

02:22Copy video clip URL They enter the store, where there is a line which they consider cutting. Fitzpatrick talks about the owner, Barry Potekin, who saved his family with the hot dog stand. “The hot dog is a universal food; it’s the one thing people agree on.”

05:34Copy video clip URL They start to interview customers. The first man, an OB-GYN, says “in the middle of the day, I need to remind myself of the other half of the world.” The second person they talk to is a woman who says, “they put all kind of creepy things in them,” and says she’s getting a salad because she gets sick. Fitzpatrick says it’s traitorous, and says “I don’t give a damn what they put in them.” He explains that one must be brave to eat hot dogs. There is a sign that says, “We pride ourselves on quality & fresh food daily.”

08:50Copy video clip URL The camera records some business men eating at a table. Fitzpatrick approaches them for an interview. They talk about toppings, and the camera looks at the menu. They order, and talk about the char dog. “You can tell a real pervert when they put ketchup on a hot dog… Nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog besides a lawyer or a pervert.” “It’s like eating an orgasm.” He asks how many hot dogs they sell a day, and a man behind the counter says maybe 1000, but someone else says 240. They pay, and are feeding three people for under ten dollars.

14:37Copy video clip URL Fitzpatrick and Angio sit down to eat, greatly enjoying the hot dogs. They talk about good types of relish, and the camera records a mural on the wall. They tell anecdotes about eating large amounts of hot dogs. Fitzpatrick: “I think anyone who says hot dogs aren’t nutritional is lying to you. He’s the worst kind of culinary criminal.”

17:10Copy video clip URL Interview with owner Barry Potekin, who opened Gold Coast Dogs in 1985 after losing all his money. He says the hot dog saved his life and his family. He claims he was successful because he elevated the hot dog “to a gourmet status” and because Gold Coast Dogs has excellent customer service. He says they have meetings often and even do play-acting to improve their service. He gives bonuses on busy days, and is kind to his employees.

20:00Copy video clip URL The tape cuts. Potekin talks about taking care of hot dogs; he does not let hot dogs sit in the water longer than 20 minutes. Potekin says he didn’t want to diversify his menu (with things like salad), but he had to in order to appease the healthy crowd. He talks about Gold Coast Dogs’ first ever customer.

23:09Copy video clip URL Footage from behind the counter, where the staff works quickly to fill hot dog orders. Shots of hot dogs on the grill, char dogs being prepared, fries, and finally the cash register. Potekin continues to chat and joke with Fitzpatrick, as the camera looks around at people eating. The group discusses possibilities for the Chicago-style hot dog abroad. The tape ends with Fitzpatrick saying, “Hot dogs. Is there ever any doubt?”

31:58Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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