The owners of Dog Haus Biergarten know that Chicagoans maybe skeptical about their take on hot dogs, as it’s an LA company that’s encroaching on the land of Vienna Beef, no ketchup, and sport peppers. Dog Haus opens its first Chicago restaurant on Saturday in Lincoln Park, near DePaul, and despite a PR snafu — which they acknowledged — they’ve studied Chicago’s hot dog culture. Dog Haus wants to complement the city’s strong sausage scene, not disrupt it.
“We at Dog Haus by no means believe we are the first gourmet hot dog spot in Chicago, and we made the absolute würst mistake when we referred to ourselves as such,” a Dog Haus statement read.
Dog Haus, 2464-66 N. Lincoln Avenue, found its way to Chicago thanks to the local franchise owner, a former Marine who was stationed in Pendleton, California. He discovered the chain while visiting the Burbank, California location and figured his friends and family in Chicago would love one nearby. Jesse Koontz liked the different flavors and modern build out. His menu highlights include the “Reservoir Hog” (kielbasa, chili, slaw, yellow mustard) and “Sooo Cali” (arugula, spicy basil aioli, crispy onions, avocado, tomato). Dog Haus also serves burgers and a chicken sandwich. They will also corn dog any sausage.
Koontz grew up in the northwest suburbs. He’ll operate the restaurant with his girlfriend, Toni Siprut. Unlike the Burbank location, they’ve got a big bar area in Chicago where they’ll perhaps play 80s music videos on TVs and pour beer. They’ve got an open kitchen concept and a display case where customers can see the sausages. Not all Dog Haus’s have these cases, but Koontz insisted — he liked the touch. The dining area is 3,000 square feet and they’ve restored the original tin ceiling.
Take a tour of the space and check out the food below. See if Dog Haus is a worthy addition to Chicago starting on Saturday.
Dog Haus Biergarten, 2464-66 N. Lincoln Avenue, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.