Felony Franks Hot Dog Stand Wins Overhead Sign

CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s no doubt about it – when you’re driving along Western Avenue near the Eisenhower Expressway, you won’t be able to miss a hot dog stand that goes out of its way to hire ex-convicts.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Jim Andrews stood beaming outside his Felony Franks hot dog stand Thursday morning, as a sign he’s fought to have put up for the past 2 1/2 years was finally hung.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) did not like the name of the hot dog stand at 229 S. Western Ave., and opposed giving it a right-of-way sign.

Fioretti had objected to the theme of the hot dog stand from the beginning. Speaking to CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole as Felony Franks prepared to open in 2009, Fioretti said that, in a neighborhood that’s been blighted by crime, the concept is definitely in poor taste.

But Andrews said the name reflects the purpose of the hot dog stand, where all the employees are ex-felons.

“I’m not changing the name. The name says something to our society. Instead of giving a person a handout, we need to give them a hand up,” Andrews said.

Andrews finally took the matter to court, and the city thought it better to settle. Now the sign is up, with the eatery’s logo – a hot dog dressed in prison garb and connected to a ball and chain – and the slogan, “Food so good, it’s criminal.”



  • Pothead

    I hope jhe wins his law suit for them not allowing the sign also.

  • rpruitt

    Good for the owner , He is trying to do something positive maybe the alderman should think about how he used taxpayer time and money

    • KE

      I agree

  • jesse jr.

    Blago and Ryan can apply when there done serving
    there time..

  • http://pupovacreports.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/felony-franks-gets-new-sign-amid-controversey/ Felony Franks gets new sign, amid controversey « Pupovac Reports

    […] Beleaguered hot dog stand Felony Franks finally got its sign this morning, according to CBSChicago.com. […]

  • Rachel Rapson

    I think this is a great idea. When a person commits a crime & is convicted, society as a whole expects them to go to prison to ” pay their dues” or ” serve their debt to society”. After they do just that, society STILL isn’t satisfied and continues to keep ex-cons repressed with their judgmental attitudes & the labels they slap on criminals-especially those of the low-level, non-violent variety. Even the most well-intended, truly remorseful criminal that really wants to make positive changes in his or her life has to suffer the consequences of their actions long after they have “paid their debt to society”. With silly litigious issues like this, we make it harder for them to find jobs; jobs that can provide for a different way of life. Yet, we continue to scratch our heads and wonder why the recidivism rate of parolees is at an astonishing 50%, and the prison system is so over-crowded it breeds even more violence, and the state is broke.I applaud Jim Andrews for his efforts and shake my finger at the alderman who stood in the way of a possible opportunity for countless ex-cons to have a chance to begin to turn their lives around by securing employment over this past two years.

  • dan

    He got his sign but now he is going to have to deal with the building inspectors, the health inspectors and the cops writing tickets for cars not parked 100% legal nearby-can’t beat the man!

    • Donna

      Dan is right. The sign obstacle has been overcome, but Fioretti will make sure the owner has 5 other issues to deal with instead.

  • Just Axin

    Good job, idiot Alderman for opposing this. Very easy to do when it’s not your $.

  • Donna

    Leave it up to an alderman to obstruct a new business that’s creating jobs for people that are not likely to be considered by other employers. If the sign is not illegal and doesn’t violate code, how is Fioretti allowed to cause a 2 year delay in hanging the sign, not to mention court costs and lost revenue costs? He ought to be liable to the business owner for lost sales. Oh, he “didn’t like the name on the sign” and that’s a valid reason. The city that doesn’t work. .

  • Michael Jordan


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