What are the perks of having Hot Doug himself as a close friend? One may be having a sausage named after your love of beer. For instance, Doug Sohn named the bratwurst after Paul Kelly, noting that its "soaked in beer, kind of like Paul."
"It's not named after me, it's named after my drinking problem," Kelly quipped on Friday, the last day of operations at Hot Doug's.
Kelly also earned the honor of standing behind the cashier's counter and taking the final sausage order at the hot dog stand—from Sohn. Sohn, who set a new standard for casual dining in the country in part through the consistency of quality service and food, wanted to be the final customer at his establishment.
While Sohn said he'd practiced acting as a customer, Kelly did not. Instead, the material for his Sohn imitations came from years of friendship.
"Hi, welcome to Hot Doug's?" Kelly said with a high voice inflection and smile all too familiar to customers.
The following video is the final order taken at Hot Doug's. It's a five-minute-plus performance of repeated inside jokes, laughter and emotion, the closing of a memorable chapter in Chicago food history. Enjoy.