Pete's Famous Hot Dogs
The business, which occupied an extremely narrow 7' x 20' space, was founded as Louis's Place in the 1910s. In September 1939, Gus' uncle, Pete Koutroulakis, won $300 over the course of a weekend playing pinochle at the Greek Club. He got a partner to match his investment and bought the business for $600. Pete bought out his partner 7 years later, made some renovations to bring the store up to code, and bought the $500 neon sign that advertised the store as Pete's until its closing.
On January 18, 1948 Pete took a 4-month trip Greece to visit his aging father. His twin brother, George, who owned a fruit distribution business on Morris Avenue, stayed behind and sent his son, Gus, to help out with the lunch counter. Not long afterwards, Pete suffered a heart attack and Gus took over day to day business and determined to "make the best of it". He worked at the store practically every day for the rest of his life, 7 days a week from 11 A.M. until whenever the crowd died down in the afternoons.
Pete's Famous served hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks (in glass bottles). The Zeigler hot dogs were available plain or as a "special" with mustard, sauerkraut, and a secret-recipe ground-beef based sauce. There was also a "hot beef" sandwich with just the meat sauce served on a hamburger bun.
After Gus Koutroulakis' death on April 5, 2011, the stand was closed. In May, the iconic neon sign was removed from the building and taken to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum for permanent display.
- Evans, Amy. (March 2004) Transcript of Interview for "Greeks in Birmingham". Southern Foodways Alliance Oral History Initiative.  - accessed March 26, 2006
- Clavell, Alicia K. (April 1, 2010) "Hot Diggity Dog!. Portico magazine
- Diel, Stan (June 2, 2011) "Pete's sign to go on display at Barber's". Birmingham News
- Thompson, Wright (June 27, 2011) "The hunchback and the lost art of the Birmingham dog." Grantland