Some sad news came to pass this weekend, as the founder of Superdawg Drive-In, the beloved hot dog spot on Chicago's Northwest Side, died on Sunday. Maurie Berman was 89 and died of heart problems, according to the Tribune.
The iconic 12-foot, papier-mâché sausages on the restaurant's roof — male and female encased meats — were named "Maurie" and "Flaurie," after Berman and his surviving wife. Built in 1948 at the intersection of Devon, Nagle and Milwaukee avenues in Norwood Park, 67-year-old Superdawg features car hop service, serving up a special beef hot dog in a cardboard box filled with crinkle-cut fries. It's a thicker-cut sausage with a pickled tomato, not a traditional Chicago-style dog with all the fixings. Regardless, it's a taste that's won over Chicagoans for generations. The family-owned business opened a second location in suburban Wheeling in 2010, and from 2003 to 2010 ran a kiosk at Midway Airport.
Berman served in the army during World War II in the year before opening the restaurant. He ensured Superdawg had an old-school feel, keeping the original fry-cutting machine and other details to maintain a trip through time. They'll be closed on Tuesday for the funeral. Berman's son told the Tribune that his father had no other hobbies; Superdawg was his life.
Here's some reaction to Berman's death on social media:
A legend, an institution, and one heck of a guy who built one heck of a business. A sad Chicago is in your debt. https://t.co/dRbNSByS6J— Hot Doug's (@hotdougs) May 17, 2015
I had several hotdogs with this man over the years. The creator of Superdawg just died at 89. pic.twitter.com/eFbIU0bWNU— MancowMuller (@MancowMuller) May 18, 2015
1) God bless Superdawg, Maurie & Flaurie. No hyperbole to say the Bermans were among Chicago's most successful restaurateurs.— Kevin Pang (@pang) May 17, 2015
In memoriam Superdawg himself, Maurie Berman. A story about him here: http://t.co/deYUGfoInn— Michael Gebert (@skyfullofbacon) May 17, 2015
Thank you Sir, for everything. https://t.co/nvy1WSndwi— Cemitas Puebla (@cemitaspuebla) May 17, 2015