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The Line at Hot Doug’s Keeps Getting Crazier

The first people in line Saturday arrived at 2:30 a.m., and spots in line are going for $200 on Craigslist. The hot dog shop closes for good on October 3.

File Photo: Anna Knott

With only five days left to get to Hot Doug’s before it closes, people are going to extreme lengths to have one last foie gras sausage.

Hot Doug’s, the beloved corner hot dog shop started in 2001 by Doug Sohn, has seen a wave of attention in the past few months after Sohn announced he would close his restaurant for good in October. Earlier this week, people showed up to the line, which stretches along Roscoe Street, as early as 7:30 a.m. By Saturday, the line was even worse. 

By 9 a.m. Saturday, the line had officially closed (the shop doesn’t even open until 10:30 a.m.). The people at the front of the line had arrived at 2:30 a.m. and written the time in chalk on the sidewalk. And the several hundred encased meat enthusiasts who had made it in time were in good spirits—one early riser at the front of the line got the crowd to do the wave just after 9.

Meanwhile, one poster on Craigslist is offering a spot just 45 minutes from the front of the line for $200. The poster, who identified himself as Brian C., told Chicago that six people had reached out by 9:45 a.m. inquiring if the spot was still available, though no one had offered to pay yet.

The line will most likely only get worse this week. Hot Doug’s officially closes on Friday, October 3. Sohn told Crain’s Chicago Business that he will be the last person in line when the shop closes.

Sohn recently told Chicago he is looking forward to the time off. "I genuinely don’t know [what I’ll do next], and I am kind of excited about that,” he said. “I’ve been writing down ideas and throwing them into a box. The one thing I don’t want is to own a restaurant.”

Update: After this story published, the Hot Doug’s Twitter account discouraged any buying and selling of spots.

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