Real Estate & Property Law

Felony Franks Closes Restaurant Staffed by Ex-Offenders


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The owner of Felony Franks has given up his battle to keep operating a hot dog stand staffed by ex-offenders on Chicago’s near west side.

But although Jim Andrews said he was worn down by a long battle with City Hall over the legality of his sign and problems with spillover from customers of a liquor store near his restaurant, he hopes to reopen soon elsewhere, the Chicago Sun-Times reports .

And he might even put pizza on the menu.

In an interview with the Chicago Journal, Andrews said the hardest part of closing his restaurant was letting his workers go.

“They almost brought me to tears,” he recounted. “They said, ‘We are here to the end with you, Jimmy, and we appreciate what you did for us.’”

However, not everyone was a fan of Felony Franks.

“He didn’t have the product or the service to cut the mustard,” said Earnest Gates. He heads the Near West Side Chamber of Commerce and told the Journal he objected to what he described as Felony Franks’ glorification of the criminal lifestyle in his neighborhood.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Hot Dog Stand Aiming to Employ Ex-Cons Is Eating at Alderman”

ABAJournal.com: “Felony Franks Sign Doesn’t Cut the Mustard, Chicago Says; Owner of Misdemeanor Wiener Provider Sues”

Updated at 6:55 p.m. to include Chicago Journal coverage.

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