As part of New York City's famous family of Italian butchers, Frank was one of the first people to sell meat on the Internet.
At a street fair near their Woodside butcher shop, he and his brother set up a booth with a pile of promotional fliers, a George Foreman grill, and enough meat to make 50 hamburgers. When the line ran almost two blocks long, they quickly bought a charcoal grill at a hardware store and ended up selling 750 burgers in five hours. The following year, they sold 2,500 burgers in one day, and the next year, it was 4,000.
When the Japanese restaurant two doors down went out of business in 2011, Frank reluctantly opened a burger joint the following year, not really wanting to get into the restaurant business. The rave reviews changed everything.
I usually use it to pound down chicken cutlets, you can use it to pound down beef.
The pounder is copper. It weighs a lot more than it actually looks. Four pounds. It probably came from our first store. So it's got to be about 90 years old.
We came to Woodside in 1960 and we opened our first store in 1932. It had been in Manhattan for a lot of years. It had to come from the First Avenue store. My father probably brought it over.
We use it still, on the butcher block.
Believe it or not, it has a lot of history in it. I'm sure my uncles held it at one time. My father probably held it a lot of times. My whole family -- my brothers, my cousins -- everyone over the years probably used it. It still works. It's an antique.