Kasper's Reopens with New Ownership, Offerings

Nina's Pizza owner Artie Berke reopens gourmet Northport hot dog shop after month-long closure.

Artie Berke, owner of , has added hot dogs to his resume as the new owner of in Northport.

Berke took over the store in June from previous owner Marc Soojian. Soojian, a Kings Park doctor, in the hope of continuing his great grandfather's legacy which began with the first Kasper's in Oakland, California in 1929. He approached Berke around Father's Day after losing his store manager and becoming overwhelmed.

"He just wanted to get out and get rid of everything and I thought that's sad because it was his grandfather's business and I suggested we do something together," said Berke. "He came back to me and said why don't you take over the store and we'll set up a franchise basically and go from there. He was excited about doing a franchise."

Berke to revamp Kasper's and reopened with new additions to the menu, a toppings bar, a panini press, gourmet glass bottle soda, a new "split-top" bun, and more. They also lowered the price of a basic hot dog by almost a dollar.

One thing that didn't change was the hot dog. Ninety percent of participants in a taste test chose the original Kasper's dog among five choices. "I was surprised because I thought kids might not like the smokey flavor," said Berke.

A variety of hot dog topping combinations, salads, and paninis are now available at Kaspers as well as a make-your-own option. To honor the original homestead of Kasper's, Berke brought in flavors from California such as the "Nacho" dog with cheese, jalepenos, pico de gallo and sour cream and the "Wazilla" with Asian slaw, crispy wanton, wasabi cream, and teriyaki.

Don't expect any pizza any time soon. Berke is keeping his two endeavors very separate, a feat which he knows will require a ton of work but will pay off. "This sort of thing revitalizes me, it makes me go," he said.

Matt Mauro July 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM
All over Italy they put hotdogs on their pizza. kids eat it like crazy... Dont wait too long to combine the 2, put the original Kaspers dog chopped up on the pizza at Ninna's
FYI July 12, 2012 at 01:21 PM
You go Artie! Best of luck with your new venture. Northport is lucky to have businessmen and family men like you!
Barbara Glazer July 12, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I was just in Northport over the weekend and I noticed people working in there. Glad to see it re-open.
Lou from Brooklyn July 13, 2012 at 04:53 AM
If there is one thing someone who grew up in NYC can claim expert status on it's Pizza and hot dogs. Northport is lucky to have the best of both right in our backyard. We are already lucky enough to have Nina's which is my favorite pizza on Earth, now Artie is working his magic at Kaspers! If all you could get at Kaspers was their hot dogs it would be well worth the trip from Brooklyn, but check out the salads and paninis and all I can say is FUHGETTABOUT IT! This place has perfect food to go with a perfect location. Kaspers will be a regular stop for me every time I am in the village. The Lincoln Road panini is incredible, all the ingredients are super fresh and the staff prepares your meal with passion and creativity. I have also had the stars and stripes hot dog and the Buffalo Bob ( both fantastic). The Rocca salad is off the hook and will definitely call you back for seconds!! All this served up by the friendliest staff and across the street from one of the prettiest harbors in the country makes Kasper's a true gem!
Artie July 15, 2012 at 05:26 PM
We had a great opening week at Kasper's. I would like to thank everybody for stopping by a trying our new menu choices. We hope you can stop by if you haven't tried our food yet. Our Panini's and salads added to our menu were great hits but our new gourmet toppings on Kasper's hot dogs were the big sellers. The Wazilla Hot dog was ordered a lot because my customers kept asking me what my favorite hot dog was. The Berke Family would like to thank everybody.


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