The story of the Birmingham food scene is incomplete without a knowledge of the Birmingham hot dog. Gus's Hot Dogs proudly continues the great heritage of Greek-owned hot dog purveyors, who have served the Birmingham community for decades.
In 1947, Gus Alexander, a Greek immigrant, opened Gus's Hot Dogs in its current, original location. In the late 1960s, Gus then sold the business to Aleck Choraitis, another Greek immigrant who continued its culinary traditions. In 1995, George Nasiakos, also a Greek immigrant by way of Chicago, purchased Gus's Hot Dogs, and helped it blossom into the community cornerstone that it is today. Recently, in 2017, George sold the business to Lee Pantazis, who continues to operate the restaurant in the spirit of the original owners, along with long-time employee, Carl Lee Alexander (better known as, "L.A.").
While Lee is the first non-immigrant to own the restaurant, he grew up learning from his Grandfather, "Big George", and his Uncle Gus, both Greek restaurateurs in their own right. Most recently, Lee honed his kitchen skills while working for the Yellow Bicycle, Satterfields, and Fresh Hospitaility.
While the Birmingham hot dog reminds many of us of our past, it is still a vibrant part of the present fabric of our community. Whether you remember sharing a special dog with your dad, or visiting many of the legendary hot dog stand owners for a Grapico and a bag of Golden Flake Sweet Heat, we hope you come visit Gus's Hot Dogs sometime soon.