I worked bussing and waiting tables at Andy’s Famous Sandwiches for a number of years in the early 1960s.  Katie (Kathrine Dorris) paid me $1.00 an hour, plus all I could eat of burgers, chili and shakes.  Eating before work and often after clocking out, she kept me well fed. Tips were a bonus that helped keep gas in my car.  Katie and her sister lived behind the business.  I believe Katie and her husband started in Mission Beach with a burger stand.  After Andy passed away she moved the business to 7149 El Cajon Blvd., to catch the Aztec crowd -- probably in the late ‘20s or early ‘30s.  I recall my folks talking of going there on weekend nights after San Diego State football games.  I can remember getting a candy bar or other sweet treat after eating there in the early ‘50s.  Part of the fun working at Andy’s was watching Katie’s memory at work, as she greeted customers from years earlier by name and events from times’ past.  She had a kind heart. She paid the tab for many students who needed a meal while going to SDSC during the depression. Many paid her back with beer mugs or steins after returning from the Second World War. The gifts were on display on the wall behind the counter for all to see.  Katie was an amazing lady with her Dutch Bob haircut and bright red smock.  After she closed the shop it became Andy’s Saloon. Truly great memories of a time gone by -- Greg Birch ‘62

Great memories of Andy's on El Cajon Blvd.  That was the place to go for burgers and chili   As a young child I remember Katie as the nicest lady, always greeting you with a smile and the free candy or gum when you left.  I looked forward to seeing her more than the food, so much I named my daughter Katie after her -- Barry Penn ‘64

My Andy's Saloon Pitcher. It was "stolen" for the price of $1. This must have been in the mid -'70s. Torta nights were the best nights -- Art Borden '68

Do you have an old picture of Andy’s and maybe even Katie?  My wife, Linda Bagley Gilmer ‘69, and I are doing memory books for our grandkids and would love to have a picture to go with the story.  Both of our families ate there  many times -- Gary Gilmer ’66

(Sadly no photos.  I did find a few snippets in the local papers, which I've placed at the bottom of the page -- JF)

My grandparents owned a small neighborhood grocery and were friends of Katie who owned Andy's. We went there frequently during the '50s and early '60s. As others have said she had the best burgers and chili. I remember that when we would leave she always gave the kids a free candy bar. I'm not sure if it was just us or if all the kids got a treat. I believe that she died in the 1970s or '80s at the Cloisters nursing home here in San Diego --
Frank Trousdale 1964

Over the summers of 1955 and 1956 I filled up our back yard with over 200 tomato plants to make some extra money. I pulled a wagon all over La Mesa selling my product. Katie was by far my best customer. I delivered to her on a daily basis all summer long. Katie would not buy a tomato from anyone else as long as I had them for her. One thing that I have not seen mentioned is the fact that in the late 1800s and early 1900s Andy, as a young man, ran the place. It was the original stagecoach stop between El Cajon and San Diego -- Mike Falconer ‘64

Katie was the owner of the original Andy's on El Cajon Blvd. During the ‘50s and early ‘60s there weren't any McDonalds or Burger Kings and if you wanted a hamburger you either went to Andy's or Thrifty's (I think that was the name) across from Horace Mann. Katie seemed to be there every time you would go in. She would greet you from behind the counter, take your order and deliver it to your table. Now when you paid the bill at the register she would always give the kids a package of gum. Her kindest always left great memories, in fact so much, I named my daughter Katie -- Barry Penn ‘64

Andy's had been on El Cajon Blvd, serving hungry young Aztecs, since the 1930s. My dad, Byron Lindsley, (San Diego State Class of '37) used to take me in there in the ‘50s and ‘60s and Katherine would brighten up, call him by first name, and chat like it was yesterday she last saw him. She seemed to be able to do that for anyone who walked in -- even if she hadn't seen you for 30 years. EVERYONE from SDSU back then -- and years after -- knew her. After her death (she was well into her 90s still showing up there), the business was sold. The new owners (I think this was in the mid '70s) kept the name but moved it east a few blocks. It was more of a beer and burger joint then -- less of an eatery. They still pitched the traditional Aztec connection. So, whichever Andy's you remember depends on when you went. It wasn't the real thing unless you were a ‘30s, ‘40's, ‘50s and maybe ‘60s Aztec or neighbor. Jeff’s story sounds like vintage Andy's -- Phil Lindsley ‘70

Andy's wife was Katie. She had a phenomenal memory for names. You could go in after several years’ absence and she would remember your name. I saw her do it with my dad. She never forgot a name, even if she was the slowest woman alive. They served awesome chili and burgers. In the mid '70 (when I was at SDSU) the restaurant was sold and turned into "Andy's saloon" when Katie died and that saloon sponsored a team for Over the Line. I believe the College inn was the restaurant at the corner (attached to a motel) where Montezuma and El Cajon meet up. They had the best fried chicken and corn fritters --
Stephanie Steel Johnson ‘74

My dad drove an Orowheat Bread truck and delivered hamburger buns to Andy's and we ate there quite a few times. Katie, with her pageboy haircut, was something else. My dad said she would inspect every bun he delivered and she only worked on one order at a time --
Ron Dargo ‘63

My parents used to hang at Andy's when they were at San Diego State and dating in the 1930s. I think Andy was alive then, but he had passed when our folks started taking my brother Charlie ('62) and I as little kids to eat there in the late ‘40s. I think Katy may have been running it with her sister I remember there was some kind of a horn from a car or truck mounted on the outside of the diner. As a kid, every single time we would drive by on El Cajon Blvd., my mom or dad would honk our car horn, and Katy would answer on hers. I would die for one of her chiliburgers, covered in cheese and chopped onions! --
Mike Byrne '64

It seemed to be a tradition, not just of our family, but of many of the Andy's regulars to honk as you passed the restaurant on El Cajon Blvd. Regardless of what Katie was doing (cooking, chatting, serving), she'd respond to the honk with a wave and a quiet "Hi there" from behind the counter. During her later years, when her hearing was poor, her #1 assistant, Marge, would prompt her so Katie could loyally wave to her passing customers --
Kathy Houser Nolan '63

I remember Katie well. As a child, my parents took my brother and I to Andys for the hamburgers and free Milk Duds and Zagnut candy bars she would give us. I remember that she lived next door to the restaurant and had a beautiful garden. Andy was her husband, but I believe he passed away before my time. I also remember the sign in the bathroom which read, "’Lave sus manos’ it is a state law that all employees must wash their hands after going in to the lavatory”. I did not know what an employee was, but I figured that it applied to me. A good life long lesson in hygiene learned from the bathroom at Andys --
Alan Jay Weissman ‘74

I think Andy’s was located around 70th St on El Cajon. I remember an older lady with straight hair, bangs and glasses, and wearing a plaid shirt. She always gave us Bazooka Bubble Gum after we ate –
Linda Zweig ‘75

You are correct. Andy's Saloon for many years sponsored a very successful OTL team named "Andy's Ancients" –
Tom Whelan ‘62

Reading the comments re. Monty Hall's Playland brought back mouth-watering memories of "Andy's". My parents began eating there, in the original building, when they were in college as the food was good, cheap, and lots of college kids went there. My brother, Doug, and I still talk about 'Katie-burgers' among our all time favorite restaurants (along with Don Jose's, of course!). Katherine Dorris was the owner's name and, when I married in 1968, she handed me a crisp new $5 as a wedding gift -- Kathy Houser Nolan '63

I remember Andy's. There's a tiny strip mall where it once stood. It was east of 70th street on the south side. I can remember the interior pretty vividly -- very wooden -- tables and chairs and a bar -- even though I was only there once with my parents and sister in what seems like a hundred years ago. I think my parents would meet friends there for a beverage or two. Seems to me there may have even been dancing -- Sandi Craig Allen ’59

The restaurant across the street was Andy's –
Mike Falconer ‘64

Andy's was on El Cajon Blvd around 72nd Street. It's now a small strip center. Andy's used to have the BEST chili and burgers -- my family went there all the time. Andy had long since died but his wife Katie (I think that was her name but I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast) ran the place. Great memories -- Pam Rossman Monroe ‘66

From the Evening Tribune, September 3, 1956

From the Evening Tribune, November 8, 1978

From the San Diego Union, July 28, 1984

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