They decided not to renew the lease because the original plan was to remodel and enlarge the el station (Fullerton Avenue, I believe) and Demon Dogs was in the way. I haven't ridden the el in some time, so I'm not sure if they actually followed through with the plan or if they needlessly chased Demon Dogs out of business. For a while there was talk that Demon Dogs would reopen at a different location, but I don't think that ever happened.
As for the original question, (which I was going to avoid, but as long as I'm here answering stricken detective's question, I might as well chime in) I don't think a Chicago Style Dog is any more legitimate than any other style. Over the years I have been a frequent visitor to New York City, Detroit, and Cincinnati, all towns with a strong Hot Dog history.
When in New York, I love a "dirty water" dog right out of the cart, slathered in spicy brown mustard and smothered in a rich tomatoey onion sauce, occasionally accompanied by a forkful of kraut. In Detroit I enjoy a good Coney, but only when the dog has been sufficiently griddled to give the skin a solid snap and an added layer of caramelized flavor. If the dog hasn't been griddled it becomes the weakest link in the Coney Island Dog. The chili is important too. A hint of cinnamon is my preference. Cincinnati chili dogs are similar but have their own style of chili.
I've never had a southern slaw dog or any of the many variations of the hot dogs available in New Jersey and other points east. Regretably haven't been to Grey's Papaya either. I don't know when I'll get back to NYC, but I'll make sure to rectify that oversight once I'm there.
The thing about a Chicago dog is that it has great history behind it. During the great depression (the last one, 1929, not the one we're in now) hot dogs were sold out of carts by members of many different imimigrant groups. The Jews, Poles, Greeks, Germans, Italians; all of them brought a different element to what would eventually be identified as the quintessential Chicago Style Hot Dog.
To its detractors I can only tell you, if the Chicago dog you were served was overwhelmed by the ingredients on top of it, you were served an inferior Chicago Style Hot Dog made somewhere far away from here. A Vienna Beef dog has the intensity of flavor to stand up to those condiments. There are other local manufacturers making similarly robust sausages, but if you're trying to make a CSD with a "foreign made" (outside Chicago) hot dog, all bets are off.
The ketchup question is one of taste, I suppose. I think most people around here think the use of ketchup, or lack thereof as a mark of maturity. Ketchup is kid's stuff and once you've reached a certain age, you're supposed to make the big switch to mustard only. It's a bit of hypocrisy really, since ketchup is still acceptable as long as it is only used for the fries. Listen, nobody said we were perfect, just that we make a damn good Hot Dog.
<message edited by BuddyRoadhouse on Mon, 07/20/09 2:10 AM>