No, Doug Sohn won’t be attending tonight’s James Beard Foundation Awards at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The force behind the shuttered encased meats superstore will instead either watch the Cubs game at Wrigley (weather pending) or continue his hockey obsession by watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the dry comforts of home. One thing he won’t be viewing is the trailer for Hot Doug’s: The Movie, the documentary that should premiere by this summer and hopefully in about a month.
The sibling team of Chris and Nick Markos have assembled a 62-minute documentary chronicling the restaurant’s final days before it closed in October 2014. Chris Markos plans on premiering the film at places around Chicago, gaging reaction and then possibly releasing it in other cities.
“If we tell a good story there’s appeal beyond Chicago,” Markos said. “But Chicago is our built-in fanbase because the city is Doug’s built-in fanbase.”
The trailer features narration by the late Homaro Cantu who talks about a visit to Hot Doug’s being a rite of passage for chefs. The film also includes interviews with famous music producer Steve Albini. It represents a “slice of life,” said Markos. Viewers can peek back at a time where gourmet fast-casual restaurants weren’t a trend.
“It is not a glorification of Hot Doug’s,” Markos said. “It’s not a historic step-by-step of how he did this and that.”
Sohn’s more than OK with that, as he wants the filmmakers to have editorial independence. He’s encouraging creative freedom by waiting until the premiere to see footage, not wanting to give the Markoses input that could influence them. Sohn joked that he expects a “hatchet job” so haters finally know what a sham of a restaurant he operated. He’s preparing himself for a wide-array of emotions for the premiere. But don’t expect any miracles.
“I’m pretty sure the one feeling I won’t have is the utter regret that I’ll reopen the restaurant,” Sohn said. “I’m confident that won’t happen.”
Take a look at the refreshed trailer below.