Not much is known about what will replace Duk’s Red Hots, the nearly 70-year-old hot dog stand in West Town that will soon close. Longtime manager Carol Chavez, in a Facebook post, announced new ownership would take over the stand in 2024, saying they will continue to sell hot dogs, but the concept will change. Chavez added she’ll remain on board at the new restaurant.
Now, a liquor license application shows a new name for the restaurant. Modern Relish is listed as the new business name at 636 N. Ashland Avenue. Beyond the name, it appears Duk’s is going in a similar direction as Wieners Circle, the Lincoln Park hot dog stand that added a bar in the back in 2021. Of course, this is pending city approval on the liquor license, so don’t expect the owners listed, Anthony Pagliuca and Angela Villanueva, to comment until the city gives them their blessing.
A $1.15 million ice cream stand
Speaking of cherished street food spots, the deal to sell The Freeze — the Logan Square ice cream stand at 2815 W. Armitage Avenue, as reported by Block Club Chicago earlier in December — has closed. According to Greenstone Partners, the sale price was $1.15 million. For that price, the new owners see potential in the space. Long story short: it doesn’t look good for a Freeze comeback. Ice cream isn’t exactly a luxury item.
The sweet anticipation
There’s a new project in the works from Tatum Sinclair, the acclaimed pastry chef from S.K.Y. It’s called Haven and on Instagram, Sinclair describes it as “a dessert-only restaurant with a curated pastry gallery in the morning and an intimate chefs counter tasting menu at night.” Sinclair declined to comment on anything further to Eater, but her social media points to debut sometime next year, making it an early contender for one of Chicago’s most anticipated openings.
A new Trib food editor
Finally, in Chicago food media news, in November, the Tribune quietly made a hire to replace the departed Ariel Cheung. She departed earlier in 2023 as editor of the newspaper’s food section, leaving for a job as editorial director with City Bureau. Her replacement is Kayla Samoy, which is good news to end a year that saw the ranks of Chicago’s food media shrink.