Lincoln Park's charming and customer service-oriented hot dog stand, The Wiener's Circle, has been sold to a group of five investors that includes the son of a Levy Restaurants co-founder. That group may elect to take The Wiener's Circle national, and could even expand the menu, according to the Tribune. But seemingly, the formula for the Circle's infamous "Chocolate Shake" (psst...it's not a beverage) will remain intact, as visitors won't see many changes on Clark Street where it's stood for 33 years.
Last year, the stand's former owners, Larry Gold and Barry Nemerow, opened The Wiener's Circle Las Vegas, so there may be something to franchising the concept. The new ownership group includes Ari Levy, son of Larry Levy, co-founder of Levy Restaurants (which handles the concessions at the United Center, as well as co-owns River Roast, Spiaggia and Jack Melnick's Corner Tap). Despite that trivia, The Wiener's Circle won't fold into Levy Restaurants' portfolio.
Customers, often drunken ones, routinely line up late night and engage in a battle of wits with the restaurant's employees, trading insults. If the restaurant is franchised, the investors hope to replicate these types of interactions at other locations. Imagine the training sessions on customer service! Check out the NSFW war of words between staff and Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. And who could forget that epic "The Wiener's Circle" reality television show, either?