At the onset of Chickie’s & Pete’s® in 1977, crabs were only served in the summer. Once the summer was over Pete needed something to do with all the leftover seasonings. So he started experimenting with different combinations on french fries. Pete would put the fries out on the bar and ask for the regulars’ feedback. “How’d you like the seasoning today?” Pete would ask. “Ahh, I liked them better yesterday” or “too tangy” the regulars would reply. Pete went through two winters of tweaking seasonings and a complimentary cheese sauce for dipping based on the regulars’ comments until one day in 1979, he just couldn’t get it any better. “It was just right!” Pete exclaimed. No matter what he did the regulars kept pointing to the recipe known and loved today as Crabfries®
Ever wonder why Crabfries® are crinkle cut?
When asked, Pete replies “they hold the seasoning better.”
Shortly after the Crabfries® were established as a menu staple at Robbins Avenue, Pete started taking Crabfries® on the road selling them at festivals, street fairs and local events. Being the wise business man he is, Pete realized once he went on the road he had to protect the product and the name. So twenty-one year old Pete then trademarked his creation. In 1998 while in the midst of opening his second location on Roosevelt Boulevard Pete was approached by Ogden Entertainment to bring his Crabfries® to the newly renovated concession area of Veteran’s Stadium, the then home of the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. Pete was hesitant to accept this venture because protecting Chickie’s & Pete’s® reputation was and still is extremely important to him. At that time Veterans Stadium was getting old and he didn’t feel the undertaking was going to be a positive one for the brand.
With prodding from his Robbins Avenue employees Pete went for it! He thanks them to this day for pushing him to make that decision as it launched Chickie’s & Pete’s® and Crabfries® into a whole new world. During the tenure at Veteran’s Stadium Chickie’s & Pete’s® was voted the #1 Outside Concession Vendor in the country. Ten years later in December 2008 Pete celebrated the 5 millionth Crabfries® served…but who’s counting! Crabfries® are now synonymous with Philadelphia sports and can be found in stadiums and arenas throughout the area. Crabfries® have also made their way to boardwalks and amusement parks. So the next time you are taking in a game, strolling the boards or conquering a roller coaster look around for Crabfries® because you just may find them!