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Lincoln Park, Old Town

Wieners Circle To Reopen By End Of September With New Bar, Patio

The famous hot dog stand will have a new bar when it reopens, according to plans presented during a community meeting earlier this year.

The Wieners Circle is being remodeled to have a larger outdoor patio behind the storefront.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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LINCOLN PARK — Famous hot dog stand the Wieners Circle will reopen by the end of September after being closed for more than eight months.

The Wieners Circle, 2622 N. Clark St., announced Monday on Twitter it plans to reopen by the end of next month with “lots of fun new surprises.” The iconic hot dog stand has been closed since January for remodeling.

Changes to Wieners Circle include adding a bar and patio behind the storefront, creating what owners called “the Wieners Circle 2.0” during a community meeting earlier this year.

The front portion of Wieners Circle will remain relatively the same, according to the plans, which were presented during an April meeting. People will still be able to walk up and order hot dogs with a side of insults and enjoy their meals at picnic tables out front.

But the back of the building will be a different experience, the restaurant’s owners said at the time.

“The front will be the same with the roast comedy, and it will look effectively the same, but our exception is that won’t occur in the back patio,” said Ari Levy, who took over Wieners Circle ownership in 2015 with Matthew Brewer and Timothy Won.

Behind Wieners Circle will be an 800-square-foot covered patio and another 600 square feet of additional outdoor seating, Michonsky said. Landscaping and an 8-foot tall fence will keep people enclosed within the restaurant’s back lot, which borders townhomes and apartment buildings.

During the April meeting, neighbors expressed concerns the introduction of alcohol, along with the restaurant’s patio, would create too much noise for the community.

Levy said Wieners Circle is committed to “changing the narrative of the brand” and making sure the patio won’t be too loud or disruptive for neighbors.

The restaurant will also hire “community monitors,” who will act as security personnel and patrol the two patios, picking up garbage and enforcing any noise restrictions is customers get too loud, said Brian Haines, operations manager for the Wieners Circle.

“We’re going to make various videos and have a corresponding commercial to show what the Wieners Circle 2.0 is, and the goal is to retrain the patrons that the back [of the restaurant] is not the same as the front,” Haines said at the time.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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