It was almost five months ago when Doug Sohn floored the hot-dog-loving public with the news he’s closing his namesake business after more than a decade of innovation with Chicago-style dogs, Italian sausages, bratwurst, andouille, corn dogs, and other encased meats. Sohn slapped an ominous wiener-themed doomsday clock up on his site, poured himself a drink, and got back to work, probably thinking that would be the end of it. Instead, now that the last days of Hot Doug’s are entering single-digit territory, Sohn has arrived at work each day to find rambling lines of people waiting to get in, reportedly up to a quarter mile long at times. Here’s a look.
This, of course, is what all the people are waiting for.
In all, Sohn told Crain’s Chicago Business that he’s been doing around 800 covers a day, which for a 45-seat restaurant can get uncomfortable, fast. As a result, he’s had to shut the line down here and there.
Despite the crowds, which reportedly include a “huge number” of first-timers, Sohn is determined to close for good, even if it is all a bit arbitrary. “I opened the restaurant on a gut feeling, and I’m kind of closing it that way,” he said. He may even open another restaurant down the road, he added, but definitely not a food truck. “I’ve been writing ideas down and putting them into a folder and I suppose I’ll look at the folder one day,” he said.