Joey "Meatballs" Zugu announced on his Facebook timeline earlier this week that he has sold Chi-Town Beefs and Dogs to a new owner who he has nicknamed Ricky "Ravioli" Warwick. This Saturday will be Joey's last day serving up his now famous beefs and dogs before he hands over the dog baton to Ricky. So you best get in there tomorrow if you want to say goodbye and have one last beef or dog served up by Joey. Today I met up with Joey "Meatballs" and Ricky "Ravioli" to get the inside scoop.
I first spoke with Ricky at his other shop, The Sugar Shack, which is two doors down from Chi-Town. Ricky is a 30 year old father of three children who also owns the Greyhound Bus Station (he actually owns a couple of others in other Florida cities as well) directly across the street. When asked how he plans to handle all of this, he explained that his wife will run the The Sugar Shack while he runs Chi-Town and he said that the bus station is right across the street if he is needed there. He said that he has a very competent staff at the Greyhound Station. I will cover all of the details of the The Sugar Shack in a separate article. In that article the audio interview will also be available for you to hear.
Next I went over to Chi-Town to interview Joey "Meatballs" (audio available below). Joey first started Chi-Town last October 2015 as a tribute to his late father. It was always his father's dream. Now that he has built the best beef and hot dog restaurant in town, with a 5 star Yelp rating I might add, he is off to live his dream - retirement in North Carolina. He is looking forward to peace, quiet and cooler weather with his wife Pam.
Joey has trained Ricky "Ravioli" to craft his dogs and most importantly his beef's gravy to perfection. He has such an admiration of Ricky and fully trusts that Ricky will run Chi-Town as he has - with passion and love. Ricky's friend, Beau, is a half partner with Ricky in Chi-Town and will help Ricky to carry on Joey's legacy. Ricky has plans to extend Chi-Town's hours to at least 7:00, possibly even 9:00 M-S, but will still remain closed on Sunday.
Joey owns the entire strip center (which is up for sale) where Chi-Town is located and has made sure to fill it with quality tenants that are making this area of town the next destination. Copa Havana Cafe will be opening up in October/November with cuban food, beer, wine and outdoor tables with Salsa dancing in the evenings. The same owners also own a very high end auction art gallery two doors down from The Sugar Shack. I interviewed Sam Garcia, the son of the owner of Copa Havana and the art gallery. That will also be coming up soon.
Joey "Meatballs" Zugu, you will be missed! Thank you for making such a mark in this Foodie town by bringing us Chi-Town Beefs and Dogs. Best of luck in your future endeavors. We look forward to Ricky "Ravioli" carrying on your tradition.
Authentic Chicago Style Hot Dogs and Beefs. Fast and Friendly Service. Convenient location.
Limited seating. Small space. Warm inside.
- Chi-Town Beefs and Dogs $$2.50-7.94
- (727) 329-8897
- Chicago Style Beefs and Hot Dogs
- Mon - Fri 11:30am - 5:00pm
- Sat - 11:30am - 4:00pm
- 165 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St N, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
Hot Dogs, Italian and Sandwiches. A Chicago Style Hot Dog is more than just a Hot Dog; it's a taste sensation with the perfect blend of toppings. So, what exactly is a Chicago Dog? A Chicago Style Hot Dog is a steamed all beef Hot Dog topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear or slice, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt served in the all-important steamed poppy seed bun.