Fatso’s Last Stand, a Ukrainian Village fixture popular for its charred — not boiled or deep fried — hot dogs, plans to soon open a second and larger location in Lincoln Park. The new Chicago street food spot will have 52 seats, boozy milkshakes, and will be open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It will officially debut to the public on Thursday, December 12 at the three-way corner of Clybourn, Cortland, and Racine, owner Scott Floersheimer says.
The food menu will remain the same using Vienna Beef hot dogs with natural casings. Fatso’s burgers and fried shrimp are also popular items, making the original restaurant one of the best places for fast food in Chicago.
This will be the first Fatso’s to serve alcohol. Ownership plans to offer boozy milkshakes and three canned beers, probably Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, as well as a selection from a Chicago craft brewery. Floersheimer said Fatso’s commitment to classic Chicago-style street food at reasonable prices made him a fan before he became its owner.
The space formerly housed a Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins that closed in October 2018. It’s an odd, wedge-shaped building with a five-space parking lot. Before Dunkin’, it housed Solly’s, a popular diner that served gyros, right around the corner from the A. Finkl & Sons steel plant. The steel company left the area to make room for the proposed Lincoln Yards development that aims to reshape the more than 50 acres between Lincoln Park and Bucktown along Elston Avenue, which is northwest of the restaurant.
Floersheimer took over Fatso’s in May 2017, buying it from the previous owner, the Lockdown Group, which included David Jacobs. Phil Achbach, the original owner who first named the restaurant Phil’s Last Stand, died in 2014. Floersheimer also co-owns Cleo’s, the Ukrainian Village dive bar that’s popular among soccer fans. He said his goal was to retain Fatso’s charm and food quality while developing a plan to open other locations.
Floersheimer said he “doesn’t want to be like McDonald’s” and oversaturate Chicago with restaurants — the next Fatso’s would be outside a five-mile radius of both locations. He’d consider suburban locales like Evanston, Highland Park, and Libertyville. The new location is about three miles from the original.
“As we grow, we will never skimp on the quality of our food, freshness, and service,” Floersheimer said.
Fatso’s crews gutted the space at 1982 N. Clybourn Avenue. They retained the parking lot, determining the spaces were more valuable than an outdoor patio. The space’s proximity to the $6 billion Lincoln Yards project may draw a large number of customers going to or leaving work. Floersheimer said he contacted the building’s landlord before the controversial development earned city approvals. He used to live nearby.
“I love the neighborhood — the possibility of what Lincoln Yards would bring would be unbelievable,” Floersheimer said.
This isn’t the first time Fatso’s has expanded. Under previous ownership, it took over the former Hot Doug’s space in Avondale, opening Frank Meats Patty in 2014. The restaurant lasted 14 months. Now four years after that closure, one of Chicago’s best hot dog stands is coming to Lincoln Park and will stay open until midnight on most days. Stay tuned for updates.