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You're leaving the club at 2 a.m. (spots close earrrly in the Midwest) and you and the goons are still in the mood to wild out. That's not gonna happen at the McDonald's drive-thru. Well, maybe, but out-of-pocket behavior is actually encouraged at Chicago's best hot dog stand, The Wieners Circle. Located in the city's posh Lincoln Park neighborhood, the establishment morphs from your typical food spot during the day into a rowdy free-for-all at night, and the shtick has made the place famous. Complex's Assistant Editor Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo) co-signs TWC, and if you wanna know what it's like to get a free side of verbal abuse with your cheese fries, just keep reading...
At the stroke of midnight, service takes an R-rated turn. Manager Roberta "Poochy" Jackson is the ringleader and likely to greet you with, "What you want, motherfucker?" Of course, you're allowed to respond with, "A fucking hot dog, bitch!" with no worries. The intentionally rude service began in the early '90s when co-owner Larry Gold grew frustrated with a drunk patron and used profanity to get his attention. After he saw the type of reaction it got from the intoxicated crowd, The Wieners Circle ran with the idea and business has been booming ever since. Lines often spill out into the street during peak hours.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
• As fun as the show is, insulting customers wouldn't work if the food wasn't awesome. Char Dogs and cheese fries are amongst the most popular items on the menu. It's estimated that the staff goes through 3,000 dogs a night and 400 pounds of melted cheese a week.
• Whatever you do, do NOT ask for ketchup on your hot dog. That's a no-no in Chicago and you will be cursed the fuck out (that's the clinical term) as a result.
• If you'd like to see some tittays while getting your late-night munch on, you can ask for a chocolate shake. It's not on the menu, but it's Wieners Circle code for getting an employee to lift up her shirt—and if you tip at least $20, they're down. We can't vouch for the quality of the show, though.
• Obnoxious, privileged bros make a good percentage of the crowd. They've proven less useful as acquaintances since the keg-stand college days ended, but there's no denying that they help keep the stand's atmosphere live during the wee hours of the morning.
• It's not that expensive. Nothing on the menu costs more than $7.
The Wieners Circle makes delicious fast food that's great at any time of the day, but best experienced at night when you've got a little liquid courage. Watch the video below for more on the spot's famous food and antics, and be sure to stop by next time you're in the Windy City.
The Wieners Circle
2622 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
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