Son remembers Charlie Vergos

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - After a long battle with Alzheimer's, Rendezvous founder Charlie Vergos died at 9:15 Saturday morning.

Vergos' son, Nick Vergos, said he died peacefully at his home.

In 1948, Charlie Vergos opened a sandwich shop.  Sixty-two years later, that little shop is now a legend known around the world.

Nick Vergos, who is also Rendezvous' vice president, said the restaurant's success is astounding.

"Pretty spectacular," Nick Vergos said.  "I get goose bumps just thinking about it."

Nick Vergos grew up inside the Rendezvous and lights up when talking about the restaurant.

"He took what was considered just to be kind of a backyard kind of food and built it into something that is now considered a culinary achievement," Nick Vergos said.

A lot can be learned about Charlie Vergos by meeting the people who worked for him.  

Albert Hurt has been running ribs at Rendezvous for 37 years.  Robert Stewart, Sr. has served up the iconic barbecue for 50, and his son is catching up with 24 years under his belt.

Rendezvous' ribs have attracted everyone from Bill Cosby to President Bush to thousands of natives and tourists.

"We saw it on food channel," said Vernie McDuffey, a tourist.

Nick Vergos said watching his dad struggle with Alzheimer's was tough.  He said he learned that everyday you wake and know who you are is a day to treasure.

Charlie Vergos is survived by his wife, three children, and ten grandchildren.

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