Hot Doug’s: The End of an Era

Chicago strikes me as the quintessential American city, for good and bad by the way. I love New York, but to me that’s not an American city, that’s much more of a world city.

-Doug Sohn, recorded by Sarah Collins, What Hot Doug’s taught Doug Sohn about Chicagoans”, Chicago Sun Times

Today marks the closing of Hot Doug’s, a hot dog joint in Chicago of national acclaim. I have been following the ramp up to the closing day because each day the lines got longer. My parents live about two blocks away from the restaurant and the line would often pass their house. From my dad just an hour ago:

“And people camped out overnight in the rain to get a sausage today. It was a 12 hour wait last weekend! Crazy!”

Yes, that is crazy! However, I think it speaks to two things: just how good the sausages are and the overall popularity that Hot Doug’s has achieved while in business for the last eleven years. There is even a documentary being filmed about the store’s success!

More importantly, and the reason why I wanted to link to this article, Doug Sohn seems to get Chicago in a way that very few people who have not lived there and loved it can. Aside from the above-quoted item, I will leave you with my actual favorite quote, but the article is short, so just go read the whole thing.

But there is, there does seem to be this real bond, this common trait running through people who are from here or who have lived here for a stretch or have a desire to live here.

Note: I am linking to an Instapaper Text version of the article because the Chicago Sun Times website was giving my a seizure from scrolling stutter and yes, this is the 21st century.

(via retweet by Mr. Lee Russel)

UPDATE: Another great article about Hot Doug’s comes from Crain’s Chicago Business.

(via Daring Fireball)

Posted: October 3, 2014

In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.

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