Ohgod we love this city. Finally the madness at The Weiner Circle (2622 N Clark St, 773 477 7444) gets the journalistic preservation it deserves. Via no less than yet another of our secret boyfriends, Ira Glass of This American Life. (Relax, Mike Sula, we still love you.) This place puts Ed Debevic’s to shame: the crazed hostility that reigns at The Weiner Circle is gleefully profane, totally NSFW, and tons of fun for everyone — let’s say, 89% of the time.
The first portion of this segment is a celebration of a uniquely Chicago institution. But right around minute 5:30, the moody music kicks in and Ira calls attention to that other 11% of the time — excruciating, embarrassingly racist behavior courtesy of the drunk, white patrons, directed at the predominantly black employees. It’s not pretty.
The employees at The Weiner Circle stay on, despite the scumface drunken racist losers, because the pay is good and the stand’s owners, Barry Nemerow and Larry Gold, treat them incredibly well. And the customers? As Larry says (right around 3:10):
I think they drink at night… I think they want to be punished.