As the final days of legendary Hot Doug’s hot dog eatery in Chicago wind down, people are lining up around the block for their last chance to sample some classic Chicago dogs. Known as the “Sausage Superstore,” Hot Doug’s, which has been serving unique varieties of the regional Chicago dogs for more than a decade, and nabbed the number 16 spot on The Daily Meal's 29 Best Chicago Hot Dogs list will have its last dog day on October 3.
Since the announcement of the eatery’s surprise impending closure, the lines for Hot Doug’s have reached epic proportions. There are Twitter sightings of lunch lines stretched around the block several times, and wait times have soared to nine hours during peak times. As many as 800 people have been served every day since Doug began his final countdown. There’s even a documentary in the works about the famous franks, called Hot Doug’s: The Movie.
While everyone's waiting in line for the new iPhone 6 I'm waiting in line for Hot Doug's. pic.twitter.com/Ea9tko2m5h
— Veasna Kim (@veasss) September 19, 2014
This was the line at Hot Doug's when I biked past at 7:50AM this morning. It opens at 10:30 pic.twitter.com/bgjN9oiVO2
— Brian Fitzpatrick (@therealfitz) September 24, 2014
But is owner Doug Sohn having regrets? According to an interview with Chicago Business, no. He wanted to close the wildly-popular hot dog business to do something new with his life. He’s making up specials while he can like this week’s specialty dog: chardonnay/jalapeno rattlesnake sausage with hibiscus ale mustard, smoked swiss, duck confit, and black sea salt. Wow. And yes, Sohn will be the last person to buy a hot dog at closing time on October 3.
FYI: Our line is as long as it can get today. All in line now will get in, joiners will not. Thanks again for your understanding my friends.
— Hot Doug's (@hotdougs) September 24, 2014
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi