Express Grill Gets Controversial Approval in Pilsen

A Cook County judge approved the opening of the hot dog stand in East Pilsen, three years after it was brought to a halt

By Lacey McCraney
|  Thursday, May 12, 2011  |  Updated 7:09 AM CDT
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A back-and-forth battle over a hot dog stand in the East Pilsen neighborhood is settled.

A Cook County judge has ruled that Express Grill, one of the original Maxwell Street hot dog joints, can now start serving customers at the corner of 18th and Halsted, according to the Sun-Times.

Some residents don't want the all-night Polish sausage stand in their neighborhood, citing the pungent aroma of fried onions and trash, as well as increased late-night traffic. Ald. Danny Solis agreed with residents and put a hold on Express Grill's business license application.

Cook County Judge Nancy Arnold ruled last month business owner Alex Lazarevski followed the rules, including securing building permits and applying for a license.

"They made a big deal out of nothing," Lazarevski tells the paper. "Now I'm not budging on anything. They put me through hell for three years. ...I'm sorry it's not an art studio or whatever else they want there."

Solis says he has told police and other city employees to be "on alert" for trouble in the area.

Lazarevski plans to open the stand as soon as possible.

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