Maurie Berman, who opened his Superdawg drive-in in 1948, has died at the age of 89. There will be countless stories about Mr. Superdawg and what he wrought, so I’ll offer my personal memories.
I go back to Superdawg’s beginning. We lived a couple of miles away from Milwaukee and Devon, and that same summer of 1948, Grandpa Price began bringing home carry-out from the new drive-in. Family legend claims that my first solid food was a Superdawg.
Later, when I was growing up, having a Superdawg was my favorite Easter treat, once Lent had ended. It was also a great place for a snack after a visit to Whealan Pool. And in my college years, when I started dating Terri, there was a geographic bonus—she lived mere blocks from Superdawg.
Life moved on. Terri and I got married. We lived in Rogers Park, then bought a house in Oak Park. The visits to Superdawg became less frequent.
In 1987 we moved to Park Ridge. Once again, we were in the Superdawg orbit.
We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in 1997. We talked over how we wanted to mark the occasion. Terri suggested we have a backyard party catered by Superdawg.
So we arranged it. Maurie’s crew came out and set up their cooker in the garage—on May 18th, eighteen years ago today, as it happened. Everyone had a great time, and our friends still talk about the best anniversary party they ever attended. After it was over, the pleasant aroma of French fries lingered in our garage for a month.
If you’ve never been to Superdawg, you’re missing a bit of the real Chicago. And don’t forget—our hometown drive-in is featured in the book 1000 Places To See Before You Die.