In October, 2003 I wrote a review of Arbetter’s Hot Dogs (8747 SW 40th St.; 305-207-0555) in which I mocked their offer of free baked beans to all customers if and when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. My point was that giving out free beans when Boston won was like offering free dollar bills when Kucinich becomes President. I noted that the Sox hadn’t copped a title since 1918, nor since 1960 when Bostonian emigré Bob Arbetter first made the promise from his brand new hot dog stand (then on Flagler Avenue, now on SW 40th St.).
"The Sox are an undeniably fine baseball team, and have just steamrolled into the American League Championship Series,” I wrote back then, “but anyone familiar with the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ will surely share my prediction of pending beanlessness.” I was right.
Bob Arbetter arrived in Miami with a thick Boston accent, which customers liked to tease him about. He would defend his hometown strenuously, and all that was associated with it. His son Ronnie, who with brother David now runs the business, recalls that “He’d tell the patrons that when the Red Sox win their World Series, ‘I’ll serve you guys baked beans and then you’ll know what it’s all about’”.
Sadly, Bob passed away in 2003, one year before his beloved Sox finally turned the trick.
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Ronnie and David got to carry out their father’s wish in 2004, and gave out free beans to all. It was quite a celebration. Now the Red Sox are two wins away from repeating the feat. “I just ordered the beans today,” says Ronnie. “We’re getting 15 cases in. Last time we ordered less and sold out.”
“We just do it for fun” he continues, and claims that customers really get into it. “They’re asking about it right and left.” He is confident about the Red Sox winning, but even if the Rockies come back to defeat them, “we might give a few out anyway.” For those counting the beans -- er, days -- the celebration will take place the day after the Sox clinch. And if you go, make sure to pair those free beans with some of Arbetter’s unbeatable pork franks -- just $2 each. --Lee Klein