“We do not sell hot dogs, we sell love and family.”

The road to Annie’s Beef was one of deep thought and white snow. The fact that this staple of River Forest cuisine would no longer be with us on Saturday, Jan. 29, was all too much to stomach, just as the two chili dogs, pizza puff, coke and chocolate and banana milkshake were.

Nostalgia was everywhere upon walking through that bell-infused door. Gonnella Baking posters covered the walls, along with pictures of mozzarella sticks and your favorite ice cream.

It was, however, ominous. The games were no longer there. You could not play Simon for a free cone or see how much love you had. Nor could you purchase tattoos or trading cards. But the space previously occupied by these machines was now laden with people. People paying their respects to this great institution.

Simon and Agnes were working hard as ever to give only the highest quality of both food and service. Simon was working behind the scenes and people were asking, “Is Simon here? Where is Simon?” He eventually came out and graced the 40 or so people waiting in line with what turned out to be a heart-wrenching speech.

He spoke of the dreamer, the reader and the drummer. It is never too late and the time is now to fulfill any dreams you have. All great knowledge is contained in books, and if you keep banging away as the drummer does, you will achieve these dreams.

At 68 years old, Simon and Agnes look better than ever. Simon is constantly learning how to play guitar and Agnes remains her sweet self. One day you will see Simon playing guitar in front of a crowd, as this is his current dream.

Annie’s Beef put heart and Seoul into their food and service, but even more so into the lives of those who have been graced by their presence.

Daniel Hughes
River Forest

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