The owner of Felony Franks, a prison-themed West Side hot dog stand, on Thursday installed a sign advertising his business following a two-year legal battle with Chicago's City Council over the stand's controversial title and business plan.
At issue for the city, according to the Chicago Tribune, is that hot dog stand's title glorifies criminal activity and harms the reputation of the near West Side neighborhood. Alderman Bob Fioretti fought until the bitter end against Felony Franks and its sign, saying that he opposed the message he said it sends to the 2nd Ward.
"Felony Franks? The home of the misdemeanor wiener? Food so good it's criminal? You are actually in a sense elevating the life of crime here in our city and we cannot tolerate that, Fioretti previously said of the business.
Less than two miles from Felony Franks is Lockdown, a popular bar and burger joint that features burgers called "Cruelty to Animals" and "Conjugal Visit." Fortunately for the restaurant's owners, First Ward Ald. Joe Moreno is not a vocal opponent of theme restaurants.
Earlier this year, Felony Franks owner Jim Andrews filed a federal lawsuit, seeking nearly $300,000 in damages, against the city after they originally denied a permit for the sign in May. The following month, the City Council quietly approved the permit request, as Chicago Journal reports. The suit, however, is still pending.
"I should be entitled to a sign," Andrews said in May. "I should be entitled to a right of way permit, I should be entitled to my rights. I spent a lot of money over there on a piece of property I don’t own, and then to be held back on something as simple as a sign?”
Proving its crime theme goes beyond the shop's title, Felony Franks hires former convicts and offers a menu with a variety of cleverly titled dogs including the "Misdemeanor Weiner," the "Cell Mate Dog," the "Chain Gang Chili Dog" and a "Fraudulent Fish Sandwich."
Photo by JOE MARINARO via Flickr.