Hot!Hot Dougs to Close

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ChiTownDiner
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2014/05/06 11:49:04 (permalink)

Hot Dougs to Close

One of my favorite places in all of Chicagoland will be closing on Friday, October 3rd.  Hot Doug's will be on permanent vacation beginning October 4th. 
 
Per Doug on Facebook - My friends, we will be serving our last encased meats on OCtober 3, 2014.  We thank you for you your support and suggest that you don't get a Hot Doug's tattoo any time soon.
 
You may want to plan accordingly any Chicago based Roadfood adventures! 
 
http://www.hotdougs.com/
#1

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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:05:39 (permalink)
    Gregg - You found stop #1 for The Contingent's next tour.
    #2
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:16:13 (permalink)
    that sucks bigtime
    #3
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:17:53 (permalink)
    Is Doug looking to do something new?  As well-received as Hot Doug's is it'd be a surprise to hear it's an economic decision.
    #4
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:29:14 (permalink)
    Makes me wish I was coming to Chicago soon.....
    #5
    pnwchef
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:40:01 (permalink)
    It makes me wish that the day he closes he hands me the key to reopen. It's not easy to have a food service that is this successful. This is a restaurant people dream of owning. I bet there is more behind this than meets the eye............pnwc
    #6
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:44:38 (permalink)
    There's a article in the Trib online. Doug says he wants to quit before he gets burnt out.
    #7
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 12:45:36 (permalink)
    Good for him!
    #8
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 13:42:53 (permalink)
    CTD, you beat me to the punch with this news.  I even had my thread title all picked out:
     
    Headline: Chicago Tourism About to Skyrocket--Hot Doug's to Close Forever, October 2014
     
    Somewhere out there, The Contingent's own personal Sausage King of Chicago, abe_froman, is wailing and gnashing her teeth.
     
    To all the conspiracy theorists, I say this is just what it sounds like: A guy who's been banging away at hawking Hot Dogs for more than dozen years has had enough.
     
    That being said, you should know that I work for a guy who devoted 15 years of his life to making World Renowned Pizza before deciding to call it quits.  Of course, that lasted about three years (almost to the day) before he reopened a new place and, thanks to the internet, became even more renowned than he was the first time around.  The real irony is that he's spent more years at the new place, with less incentive (kids are now moved out, mortgage paid off, social security kicked in, etc.), and has less inclination to close up shop than he did 28 years ago.
     
    So, mourn not the Dougster folks.  He may be closing his door in October, but I bet we'll see him open another in not too long a while.
     
    Buddy
    #9
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 15:10:32 (permalink)
    Sorry Buddy....figured you were sleeping in!
    #10
    EdSails
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 16:19:45 (permalink)
    Bummer, with everything I'd seen and heard, that would have been my first stop in Chicago!
    #11
    Jim2903
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 16:29:25 (permalink)
    This didn't come as a huge surprise to me. Doug Sohn has always run his place sort of as a hobby, so he's probably looking to do something new. I, for one, hope that new thing is fried chicken, and I hope he does it within walking distance of my house ;)
    #12
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 17:06:11 (permalink)
    I believe there is something more than being "burned out". Why close a business that's making good money. Hire a GM, let him call the shots, if he or she screws up, new GM, walking away from big $$$, makes no sense.
    #13
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 17:19:00 (permalink)
    Good point. Why not just sell the place?
    #14
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/06 17:28:43 (permalink)
    EdSails,
    You've got until October.  People have come to Chicago for worse reasons than to get a great Hot Dog.
     
    chewingthefat,
    You clearly don't know Doug Sohn.  He runs his business from 10:30am to 4pm, not one minute more or less.  I work near his store, but my shift doesn't allow me to visit very often.  I once told him if he'd stay open until 6:00 he'd pull in a lot more early dinner business.  Doug very politely told me I should open my own Hot Dog Stand and keep it open as many hours as I liked.
     
    He takes regular vacations, closing down the store for a week or more at a time.  In other words, he has created a rare situation for a restaurateur: He has both a business and a life.  And he compromises for no one.  When you've got a business where customers line up daily for a 90 minute wait, almost from the moment you open until you lock the doors, you can call your own shots.
     
    Buddy
    #15
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 08:11:06 (permalink)
    As expected, the lines which normally lengthen in proportion to Chicago weather are already getting even longer.  Yesterday was a media frenzy with every TV and most radio channels reporting on site.  Also, front page in today's Chicago Tribune. 
    #16
    pnwchef
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 08:56:45 (permalink)
    When the restaurant business becomes a chore, it's time to get out. At this point of his business he s/b walking the line of people, chest out as any proud owner's would do. I talked to one of the owners of Ketz's Deli in NYC last summer. There was nothing but pride for his food and employees written all over his face. This is a business that you either love it or leave it. I give Doug a lot of praise for building a great business, I wish him well.
    #17
    EdSails
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 11:36:20 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    EdSails,
    You've got until October.  People have come to Chicago for worse reasons than to get a great Hot Dog.


    Buddy

     
    You mean there's other reasons beside BBQ sauce? 
     

    #18
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 14:29:17 (permalink)
    Ed, you let me know when you want to visit Chicago.  If you think the Beauty and the Beast (Hmmm, wonder if that'll stick) took good care of you in Columbus, wait 'til you see how we treat visitors to Our Town!  Just to be clear (seeing as it is Chicago), that's an enthusiastic offer, not a threat.
     
    Five months to go before Hot Doug's is gone forever...
     
    Buddy
    #19
    tiki
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 14:30:15 (permalink)
    why not sell--My NAME--My place--i would just close it too---and lord knows when its time to leave--it's time--who knows what adventure awaits!
     
    #20
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 14:55:30 (permalink)
    In an interview in today's Tribune, Doug says his next venture will probably not be in the food business.  Interesting, since the guy is a classically trained chef.  But based on his current success and mindset, I'm sure he'll excel at whatever he chooses to do next.
     
    Buddy
    #21
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 15:03:28 (permalink)
    JRPfeff

    Gregg - You found stop #1 for The Contingent's next tour.
    Google Maps lists a number of eateries in the area; Pork Shoppe and Honey Butter Fried Chicken caught my eye...
    #22
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/07 15:22:20 (permalink)
    SC - Find a weekend when the Cubbies are at home.
    #23
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/08 01:07:29 (permalink)
    The Pork Shoppe does some okay 'Que, but their specialty, Pork Belly Pastrami is astounding!  It is the most luscious pile of pig you will ever eat.  You'll feel your arteries closing tighter with each bite, but it's totally worth it.
     
    Honey Butter Chicken is quickly becoming a foodie favorite.  I think the end of Hot Doug's line meets up with the end of HBC's line in the middle of the block.  Some people even forget which line they're standing in and end up in the wrong restaurant.  They're not cheap, but they serve up some choice fried bird.  I'm especially fond of the Original Chicken Sandwich, made with thigh meat instead of breast meat.
     
    Also within easy driving distance, Redhot Ranch and their wonderful fried shrimp.
     
    Who are these "Cubbies" and why do they need to be at home for us to build a tour?
     
    Buddy
    #24
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/08 08:32:14 (permalink)
    I have NEVER, EVER seen a prouder man wearing a Cub's jersey than ScreamingChicken!  We're gonna like the way he looks! 
    #25
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/08 08:49:45 (permalink)
    The likelihood of that happening is even less than that of Buddy switching over to Open Pit and Domino's!
    #26
    CajunKing
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/09 16:23:56 (permalink)
    Cubbies - Fried Chicken - SC in a Cubs Joisey - Hot Doug's - Pork Belly Pastrami
     
    WOW this sounds like an adventure worthy of attending.
    #27
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/09 16:28:21 (permalink)
    I see the idea is gaining traction...We're gonna like the way he looks...
    #28
    lleechef
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/10 19:17:20 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    Ed, you let me know when you want to visit Chicago.  If you think the Beauty and the Beast (Hmmm, wonder if that'll stick) took good care of you in Columbus, wait 'til you see how we treat visitors to Our Town!  Just to be clear (seeing as it is Chicago), that's an enthusiastic offer, not a threat.

    Five months to go before Hot Doug's is gone forever...

    Buddy

    Oh really?  Beauty and the Beast, huh?  Just wait and see if I buy any more of your BBQ sauces!!!!

    #29
    chicagostyledog
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    Re:Hot Dougs to Close 2014/05/10 20:44:33 (permalink)
    The following interview with Doug Sohn was on WTTW Chicago Public Television, last night. Doug answers all the questions about his closing of Hot Doug's.
    http://chicagotonight.wtt...ara-sausage-superstore
    #30
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