North Side’s Hot Doug’s Closing After 13 Years

North Side’s Hot Doug’s Closing After 13 Years 5.00/5 (100.00%) 2 votes

English: Hot Doug's restaurant, Chicago

Hot Doug’s is closing its doors after 13 years in Chicago’s North Side.

Owner Says He Wants to Close Before He’s Burnt Out

Hot Doug’s, one of Chicago’s most famous hot dog stands, will be shutting its doors in October, owner Doug Sohn announced today.

It is the place where everyday meet gourmet when it came to sausage culinary arts has been an icon of Chicago’s love affair with the frankfurter since 2001, when it first opened in Roscoe Village (it later moved to California and Roscoe in the Avondale neighborhood after a fire burnt down the original location). Sohn said he isn’t closing because he’s burnt out, though.

“I’m not burnt out. I also don’t want to be burnt out. It’s just time,” Sohn told the Chicago Tribune.

Hot Doug’s became known for its merging the familiar weiner with gourmet ingredients such as foie gras and Sauternes duck sausage with truffle aioli, all from a simple stand where egalitarianism ruled the day. Fans of Sohn’s culinary creations would line up long before the joint opened in the morning and no one was famous enough to cut in line.

Sohn told the Tribune that he first thought about shutting down in January. “It’s been my strategy that at the end of each year to decide if I have another year in me,” he said. “For me it’s nothing other than I just want to do something else.”

For fans who were proud to get the restaurant’s logo tattooed with promised of free hot dogs, it is uncertain what neighborhood favorite will spring up in its place.

“Hot Doug’s thoroughly feels like a neighborhood joint (well, it is),” Mason Johnson said on CBS Chicago’s blog. “It’s small, the staff is nice and will act like they’ve known ya forever — even if it’s your first time there — and it definitely lacks the pretension Chicago’s recent “gastropubs” have brought to the city.”

The “permanent vacation” begins after the doors close on Friday, Oct. 3.


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Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]

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