Chicago favorite hot dog spot Superdawg has announced the death of co-founder Florence Berman. According to multiple social media posts from the restaurant, the Superdawg matriarch, for whom the smiling, bow-wearing, 12-foot-tall hot dog mascot on the restaurant’s roof was named, died peacefully in her sleep May 2, 2018. She was 92 years old.
Berman and husband Maurie opened their first Superdawg in 1948 on the corner of Devon and Milwaukee on the north side of Chicago. They opened a second location in suburban Wheeling, in 2010. The family-owned business is famous for its hot dogs, for the enormous wiener mascots greeting customers, and for being one of the last remaining original drive-in style restaurants in the U.S.
“It is with profound sadness that we inform you that our matriarch, Florence Berman, passed away peacefully in her sleep last night,” Superdawg posted on their Twitter account. “For seventy years, Flaurie worked alongside and supported her husband and best friend, Maurie Berman as they built a business and a family.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Flaurie (as she was known) was the woman behind such menu hits as the char-broiled Romanian-Hungarian-Polish sausage “Whoopskidawg” as well as Superdawg’s mouthwatering “Superburger” and the kid-favorite “Superchickenmidgees.” Berman was born in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood March 13, 1926, and was a graduate of prestigious Northwestern University as well as a former Chicago Public Schools teacher. Her husband and Superdawg co-owner Maurie died in May of 2015.
Berman's granddaughter Stephanie Drucker told The Daily Meal, "She made our employees a part of our family as well, and cared deeply about the customer service aspect of the business. She was a remarkably special woman. I can't express how deeply I, my family, and all of Chicago will miss her."
“When you see the winking Superdawgs greeting you from our roof, remember that it was never just Maurie. It has always been Maurie and Flaurie,” Superdawg wrote on Twitter. Superdawg is currently run by the Bermans’ children and their spouses. The beloved hot dog drive-in earned The Daily Meal’s vote for the best hot dog in Illinois and placed No. 4 in our most recent ranking of America's 75 best hot dogs.