After years of battling the city and nearby businesses for the right to stay open, the owner of a landmark Chicago hot dog stand famous for employing ex-convicts says he's ready to throw in the towel.
"I'm just tired of it," owner Jim Andrews told CBS Chicago. He says that the eatery has enough inventory to carry them through Monday's business, and will likely shut its doors permanently once that runs out.
When the restaurant first opened in 2009, Andrews had a vision to employ ex-convicts exclusively, whom he's always said work harder than most employees and get few opportunities for employment. While many community members embraced the concept, his branding, including "misdemeanor wieners" and prison motifs, drew the ire of some local aldermen.
"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," Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) previously said of the restaurant, which had to fight, and sue, the city for the right to put up a sign.
Andrews says that battle, the lack of signage and the damages he incurred in the fight irreparably damaged his business, though the city settled and quietly granted his permit request in the summer of 2011.
Andrews says the nail in Felony Franks' coffin was the opening of a nearby liquor store that brings rowdy crowds to congregate in front of the restaurant, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He told the newspaper he'd like to reopen at a new location, but can't stand to lose any more money at present.
"It's a nice spot, I don't want to close it, but I just can't deal with it anymore," he told the Sun-Times.
Flickr photo by Zol87.WATCH a previous report on the Chicago business: