The original Pop’s store, located at 7153 W 127th Street in Palos Heights, IL, was opened March 24th, 1980. Frank, his mom Betty, and one other employee were the sole work force seven days a week, from open to close, for the first two years Pop’s was open. Other family members also helped Frank along the way; his father, Frank Sr., came in on Saturday mornings to help slice beef and cut sausage, and his sister Sandy earned the title of Best Fry Maker in the restaurant. The store’s opening day was a bit chaotic, as the previous occupant’s (Kirby’s Dog House) hood over the grill wasn’t big enough. When all of Frank’s friends came by to support him on opening day, they were primarily ordering burgers and, at one point, the smoke was billowing so thick he couldn’t even see the customers through it. While Frank didn’t have a long-term plan in mind on that hectic first day, his dedication to quality and service have helped his humble endeavor expand to twelve locations across the South Suburbs and Indiana.
At Pop’s Beef, we take great pride in the quality of the food served to our customers, and for good reason. Our beef is sliced fresh every morning and then cooked for three and a half hours.
During the average week, Pop’s sells anywhere from 1,000-2,000 pounds of beef per location, along with fifteen to thirty gallons of our homemade hot giardinera. Our 100% beef hot dogs are a unique blend, the recipe took us over eight months of trial and error to create and is specific only to Pop’s. Our grilled chicken is marinated, tenderized, and charbroiled before being served to ensure it is both tender and delicious. On a typical day, our morning begins at four or five when we start slicing and cooking the beef, then prep the various sandwich toppings so the restaurant is ready to open for the lunch rush. It takes us every bit of the six to seven hours each morning to properly prepare the restaurant to open at 11AM. It is our determination to go the extra mile, and our dedication to quality, that set Pop’s above the rest.
Frank Radochonski began working at a restaurant as a teenager, which led him to open a restaurant of his own. He can usually be found at the restaurant any day of the week, where he gladly greets the many familiar faces, most of whom have been loyal customers for years. Growing up, his dream was to fly a plane. While Frank did become a licensed pilot, his passion has become creating the legacy of Pop’s. Service is the number one priority for Frank at the Palos location, where he takes great pride in his employees and the customer service his patrons receive.
After thirty-three years in business, his favorite item on the menu is still the Sausage sandwich-wet-hot. Five years after opening Pop’s, Frank married his wife, Kelley, and chose to move to the Palos area, where they have lived for nearly twenty-five years. Kelley assists with the behind-the-scenes aspects of the restaurant, managing the financial side of the business. She enjoys traveling, as well as spending time with with her children and grandson. Frank and Kelley have four children. Kacie, the oldest, graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Finance; she works full time at the Palos location, assisting with a variety of aspects necessary to run the restaurant. The next eldest daughter, Katelyn, is a traveling nurse, currently residing in Orange County, California. Their daughter Kourtney, her wonderful husband Brian, and their son Brayden, live in Tinley Park where Kourtney has her own photography business. The Radochonski’s youngest, Frankie, just finished his freshman year at Purdue University, where he is studying for a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. All four of the Radochonski children have worked at Pop’s at one time or another, as Frank felt it was important for them to understand the foundation of the business.