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Arbetter's is getting a new counter during its 60th year in business.EXPAND
Arbetter's is getting a new counter during its 60th year in business.
Abel Sanchez

Ahol Sniffs Glue to Redesign Arbetter’s Iconic Hot Dog Counter

Arbetter’s famed chili dogs aren’t changing anytime soon. Neither is its menu, or the overarching nostalgic vibe of the Miami hot dog institution.

But the beloved establishment is getting a makeover.

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Arbetter’s Hot Dogs is set to receive an upgrade to its counter, primarily thanks to some graffiti flair from local artist Ahol Sniffs Glue. According to longtime Arbetter family friend Abel Sanchez, the new counter will be finalized by the end of February.

“[Owner Dave Arbetter] and I were hanging out on the beach at La Sandwicherie and I was saying how much I love the counter [at Arbetter’s],” said Sanchez. “And then Dave said he was thinking about doing a new counter. I said, ‘You know what would be really cool is if we got Ahol to do it. So we hit him up and he loves the counter and place, too, and it’s happening.”

David Arbetter (left), Notorious Nastie, AholSniffsGlue, and Abel Sanchez at Arbetter's Hot Dogs.
David Arbetter (left), Notorious Nastie, AholSniffsGlue, and Abel Sanchez at Arbetter's Hot Dogs.
Abel Sanchez

Arbetter’s Hot Dogs, the original brainchild of Dave’s father, Bob, first opened in 1959. In 2016, its chili was named Best Chili by New Times.

According to Sanchez, Ahol has been given full creative freedom to work his magic at Arbetter’s.

“The base has a stainless steel and clean look,” said Sanchez. “As for Ahol, we’re all going to let him do his thing. I know he’ll have his iconic drowsy eyes around the logo and he doesn’t want to mess with anything on the inside."

Yes, even the prolific artist has reverent feelings for Arbetter's. "When we talked about the possibility of a mural, Ahol wouldn’t do it," Sanchez said. "He said, ‘Your stuff is already perfect on the inside.’”

The new counter addition will provide a hint of modern amid classic sports photos, wooden panels, and yellow-lettered signs.

“The menu will be the same and every photo is staying,” said Sanchez. “All of those photos help tell a story. In fact, there’s a photo up of my old teacher there who took me when I was a freshman. And now, we’ll have a splash of freshness on the counter.”

Arbetter's Hot Dogs. 8747 Bird Rd., Miami; 305-207-0555; arbetterhotdogs.com. Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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