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October 14, 2009

"Slaw and Order: Hot-Dog Stand in Chicago Triggers a Frank Debate"

The title of this post is the amusing headline of this serious article from the front-page of today's Wall Street Journal.  Here is how the piece starts:

When James Andrews opened a hot-dog stand on this city's rough West Side, he thought he was doing a community service by hiring ex-convicts.  But some in the neighborhood think the name he chose -- Felony Franks -- is a crime.

An alderman has refused Mr. Andrews permission to hang a new sign or build a drive-through lane. A pastor accused the restaurant owner, who is not an ex-convict, of "pimping out" the community. Members of a neighborhood association have vowed to stay away from Felony Franks until the name is changed and the décor -- including paintings of cartoon hot dogs in prison stripes -- is removed. "I don't understand it," Mr. Andrews says. "I really don't."

The 64-year-old businessman has long employed ex-convicts at his main business, a company that supplies paper goods to restaurants.  He says he thinks people deserve a second chance and felons need stable jobs so they don't add to homelessness.  He thought of opening a hot-dog stand three years ago while driving past one. The name "Felony Franks" just popped into his head, he says.

October 14, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink


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Typical--alderman doesn't like something, so he blocks permission on that basis. The alderman ought to be in jail.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 14, 2009 11:43:49 AM

Federalist. Now that is a thought I relish. All this politician is doing is waving his wiener around in public and hot dogging it around town. He needs to chili out and not engage in such cheesy behavior or next thing you know every politician will be trying to ketchup and top the other to be tough on crime. That's the wurst thing that could happen.

Posted by: Daniel | Oct 14, 2009 1:52:41 PM

Looked for a Justice Frankfurter quote with no success.

Posted by: Texas Lawyer | Oct 14, 2009 5:55:34 PM

"aldermen" are usually not good for much.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 15, 2009 4:12:01 PM

Sounds like a quintessentially Chicago restaurant.

Sounds like a story about a bureaucrat, Alderman Fioretti, with way too much power.

Cudos to Mr. Andrews for helping ex-cons.

Posted by: John K | Oct 15, 2009 4:55:15 PM

From a student:Everyone deserves a second chance. These men have paid their debt to society and if someone doesn't they will be forced to turn back to a life of crime again. Kudos to Mr. Andrews and Felony Franks!

Posted by: Background Checks | Mar 22, 2010 7:03:24 PM

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