Loyal Hot Doug's patrons who inked their hot dog pride in exchange for free encased meat may have a way out.
The eatery’s longstanding policy that offers endless free meals for the questionable souls who tattooed their loyalty to the shop will end when the hot dog sensation closes its doors for good in the fall, but one local clinic specializing in tattoo removal is offering up a Hot Doug's deal.
Sempurna Restoration Clinic in the city’s River North neighborhood is offering 50 percent off tattoo removal for those sporting tattoos of the encased-meat staple.
Director Cleighton DePetro said the offer began as soon as the clinic heard the restaurant was closing and they plan to continue it for the next month.
“I think a lot of the people are happy with immortalizing Hot Doug’s on their arm and probably won’t change their mind but I would imagine there are few people out there that either regretted the tattoo immediately after they did it or now that they’re not going to get their free meals maybe want to get that tattoo covered up or removed," DePetro said.
The news came as a shock to many Chicagoans and hot dog enthusiasts as the restaurant is often booming with customers, with lines stretching down the block.
The Avondale hot dog stand has generated what some have called "cult fandom."
A man even proposed at the restaurant and had owner Doug Sohn ordain his wedding.
But those who have yet to ink their Hot Doug devotion may want to follow Hot Doug’s advice.
My friends, we'll serve our last encased meats 10/3. We thank you for your support & suggest you don’t get a Hot Doug's tattoo any time soon
— Hot Doug's (@hotdougs) May 6, 2014