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Michael's, Highland Park's Hot Dog Institution, Renovating After 37 Years

Dining room's temporarily closed but boozy slushies are on the way

Michael's, a North Shore favorite, is undergoing renovations.
Michael's, a North Shore favorite, is undergoing renovations.

North Shore favorite Michael's Chicago-Style Red Hots has been serving their hot dogs, burgers, and famous cheddar fries for 37 years. But starting this month, the Highland Park restaurant has closed its dining room for renovations, with only carry-out and patio seating still remain available.

The renovations started on Aug. 1, forcing the restaurant to remain completely closed for five days. The dining floor will also be expanded and remodeled while adding different seating options. All of its tables and chairs are made from recycled Coke bottles and various forms of artwork done by Highland Park residents. There will also be stations for customers to charge their phones and other devices while dining.

Michael's management has made changes in the ordering process in hopes of reducing wait times. They've added a separate carry-out station and dessert bar where the yogurt counter once stood.

But have no fear, the menu will only have some minor modifications. There will be an array of gluten-free dishes added, along with a wider menu of frozen treats, including alcohol-spiked milkshakes and "grown-up slushies" that mom and dad can enjoy, too.

The renovations also include a remodel of the event space so that it can accommodate parties of up to 225 people. There will be a full-service bar and an elevated DJ booth as well as a 90-inch projection screen.

But what will happen to those iconic customer photos that covered Michael's walls? Later this fall, Michael's will host an event so customers can purchase the photos in exchange for a donation to a local charity.

It's a fresh look for venerable Michael's, which had a second location in Lincoln Park, where The Blanchard stands. Get ready for a new and improved North Shore favorite this fall.

Watch: The Hot Dog and French Fry Pizza

Michael's Chicago Style Red Hots

1879 2nd St, Highland Park, IL 60035 (847) 432-3338 Visit Website