Friday, December 2, 2011

A New/Old Hot Stand in Five Points South

The Birmingham News today (Friday 12/2/11) had a story of interest on the front of the local section. I had been given a heads up about this story several weeks ago when one of my daughters sent me a couple of photos taken when she and her husband had observed some late night work at Five Points Hot Dogs.

The picture shows someone working inside preparing for the reopening of this Hot Dog stand after being closed for years. I had spotted the closed hot dog stand over a year ago and even peered in the window hoping to see some action. But until now there were no dogs being served. The article can be read online HERE; but I am also copying it below:

From The Birmingham News
by Russell Hubbard
photos by News staff

One of Birmingham's iconic hot dog spots has made a comeback, after a 10-year hiatus.

It is Five Points Hot Dogs, inside Five Points Market on 11th Avenue South. The market quietly started serving hot dogs and other quick-service fare about three weeks ago.

Owned by the Josof family, the market has been there since 1947, back when Five Points was mostly residential, and housewives crowded the aisles for fresh meat and vegitables.

The area slowly changed into a business and entertainment district and the family began serving hot dogs and breakfast sandwiches in 1989, stopping in 2001 as market founder Raymond Josof Sr. moved into his seventh decade at the store. The elder Josof died this year after working at his market pretty much seven days a week, with time off only for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Now, it is a father-son combo again, with Raymond Josof III joining his father, Raymond Josef Jr.

Raymond Jr. first served hot dogs at Five Points while working with his father, the founder.

"Convenience store gas stations have gas to attract customers into the store," said Raymond Josof III,who is 25. "We don't have that, so we needed an attraction,away to draw in people who otherwise would just pass by."

The lunch counter and cooking area take up about half of the store; it had lain dormant since 2001. The equipment was all in great shape, te Josofs said, and all that was needed was new paint and seating.

"It's been 10 years and in between, people never stoped asking for hot dogs,
Raymond Josof III said. "Some people with their own hot dog locations around town even asked if they could lease the space."

Like most of Birmingham's hot dog spots,Five Points has its own sauce, a meaty concoction with some spice to it that Raymond Josof Sr. says must be eaten over a frank to be fully appreciated. He said he devised it in the 1980s with the aid of Bob Stephens, a longtime Birmingham restauranteur.

The spot also serves hamburgers and freshly made chicken and tuna salads, along with chicken fingers,french fries and the usual accouterments. The Josofs themselves prepare,cook and serve all the food.

On the market side,there is beer, wine, eggs, canned goods, lunch meat and other staples.

"People are always going to drink beer and smoke cigarettes," Raymond Josof III said, when asked about the economy.

"He means to say you have to work twice as hard these days to make half as much," said his father.

"Get to work, we need fries," came the reply, as a third generation begins its run at the old market on 11th Avenue South.

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