Burgers: Windy City Style
(reprinted from the Arcadia News, August 1993, author unknown)
Well Arcadia, the time has come. Nowadays, Easterners aren’t the only ones migrating to the Valley of the Sun; their hometown restaurants are moving here as well. But, being from Illinois myself, I don’t mind one bit. In fact, I welcome them with open arms and an empty stomach.
Living in Arizona for the past 15 years, I’d forgotten what Chicago food tasted like, that is, until I came across the Chicago Hamburger Company, a quaint little place right here in the valley that serves the world famous Windy City Sliders.
Now, most Chicagoans will know what this means. But, for all others who don’t have a clue, let me fill you in. Sliders are what we Midwesterners consider the filet mignon of all hamburgers. The taste is simply out of this world. The restaurant, located at 3749 E. Indian School Road, also offers customers a variety of Chicago’s best foods, including Vienna Beef hotdogs, Chuck burgers and chicken sandwiches.
Bob Pappanduros, 35, and financial partner, Gary Viner, have owned the establishment for the past four years and credit its success to the wide selection of menu items, affordable prices, and loyal customers.
“Most of our customers are from the surrounding businesses,” Pappanduros said. “But, we do have a good deal of Chicago visitors and loyal patrons who eat here as well.”
Pappanduros, whose sliders rated among the top ten hamburger list in the Phoenix Gazette and New Times in 1991, says he enjoys owning a restaurant because it gives him an opportunity to establish relationships with his customers and his workers.
“I like talking with my customers,” he said, “especially since many of them are regulars. Some eat here as many as five days a week.”
Pappanduros has good reason to brag about his business. The food is divine, the service is great and the prices are inexpensive.
“I’ve never dreamed of owning a restaurant,” the sociology and psychology major from Southern Illinois University said. “In fact, when I went to college, I swore I’d never work in a restaurant again.”
Pappanduros grew up working in a family-owned restaurant so he knew what it would take to run one successfully.
When asked if his satellite TV hookup was needed to compete with local sports bars, Pappanduros said he just wanted to bring a little of Chicago into the place by offering the sports games.
“I don’t want to compete with sports bars because I try to down play beer as much as I can,” he said. “The Chicago Hamburger Company is a family place.”
But on the record, Pappanduros wants others to know that he did root for the Phoenix Suns during the NBA Finals.
“Even though a lot of Chicagoans were mad at me, I had to root for the home team,” he said. “I even renamed the restaurant The Phoenix Suns Hamburger Company during the playoffs.”