It is impossible to tell the story of the Original Hot Dog Shop - The “O” - without speaking about its’ founder Sydney Simon. Mr. Simon was a man with incredible heart and character. He was a model for being strong and courageous while facing overwhelming life’s challenges. Syd lived to be 80 yet struggled with health ailments. After he was given slim odds to survive when diagnosed with melanoma - he lived over twenty years. Syd overcame three different types of cancer, which was the cause for several surgeries. Plus, he had a lifelong struggle with weak eyesight becoming legally blind in his final years. Through it all there was no obstacle that stood in his way. He was a resilient loving man who served people. He came from a humble background growing up with siblings, Moe and Rosalyn, in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. He was the son of an immigrant mother from Lithuania, and a hard-working blue-collar father. Syd’s work in the food industry began when he was in high school honing his skills in a Highland Park delicatessen for fifteen years. When the deli closed, Syd with his brother Moe, decided to open up their own store. There was no better location then selling hot dogs in the shadows of Forbes Field during the summer of 1960. Today Forbes Field is a Pittsburgh memory to those over 55 years old, yet Syd’s store remained open in its original Oakland location on the corner of Forbes and Bouquet until March 14, 2020. When the “O” finally closed due to the Pandemic. The Original Hot Dog Shop started out as “Original Franks and Burgers”. Syd and Moe used an old cigar box as a register to hold the cash and make change. They developed a secret recipe for their hot dogs and over time began to expand the menu with Fries, Pizza, Steak Hoagies, Seafood, and much more. Eventually, he expanded the store by adding more seating and an upstairs bar. Over the years Syd would work on Thanksgiving and Christmas to provide food for those in need. He always was a friend willing to do whatever it took to serve those who needed help. One incredible display of his heart and character was the lengths to which Mr. Simon went to helping a close friend and employee, Nate Keys, receive a liver transplant. During the late 1980’s Mr. Keys was told that he would only have a few months to live if he did not receive a liver. The waiting list for a new liver was eighteen months long. Syd Simon knew about tenacity from never giving up through his own continuous battles with cancer and he became a relentless advocate for his friend to receive a new liver. Mr. Simon petitioned the George H.W. Bush administration nonstop to help his friend. Amazingly, when there seemed to be little hope, The White House responded to Mr. Simon and Mr. Keys received a new liver. Syd Simon’s dedication to serving others did not stop with The Original Hot Dog Shop, he had several patents including a clothing line to help the visual impaired. He was an incredibly driven man, who adored his wife Esther (Essie) - who he memorialized in the neon sign outside the Original Hot Dog Shop. He was a loving father to his children Bruce, Larry, Linda, and Terry who carried on Syd’s legacy, and plan to continue further with franchising.