Las Vegas is fast turning into the second city of The Second City. In the last six months, Vegas has seen the arrival of Chicago denizens Yusho, Al's Beef, Mercadito and mixologist Craig Schoettler.
Now comes confirmation from Station Casinos that the infamous, inflammatory and to the uninitiated, utterly shocking Lincoln Park hot dog stand The Wieners Circle is moving into both the Red Rock Resort and fill an expanded role at Santa Fe Station. But do not expect to encounter any of the verbal fireworks found in Illinois.
The location at Red Rock opens first. The famous L.A. hot-doggery Pink's shuttered their convenient spot by the resort's sports book earlier this year and it currently sits empty. Red Rock will be the location for the New York born, but Chicago-based, Mercadito Mexican eatery coming soon. Pink's was operated by Block 16 Hospitality, who almost simultaneously shuttered their LBS: A Burger Joint at Red Rock, conveniently now the forthcoming home of Mercadito.
Why a small, Chicago neighborhood hot dog stand would pass into legend, not for its "char" focused fast food, but for the interactions between staff and customers, is a social sciences thesis waiting to happen. But Station Casinos assures Eater Vegas the sole mission is to bring a Chi-Town style focused menu to the city and only run a family friendly operation.
The legend of The Weiners Circle begins in the 1990s when co-owner Larry Gold started mouthing-off at drunk customers. When his staff joined in, it became a battle of wits, snaps, disses and a doubling of business and their all important tips.
The clash of mostly white, drunk, affluent and very late night customers against the mostly African-American, female and hustling for tips staff is often brutal, offensive, racist and sometimes hilarious, but is absolutely, without question, not safe for work. YouTube is chock full of clips for those in a safe viewing environment.
This unofficial upload of a video feature by Ira Glass has hit almost a million views. By the end of the segment, the This American Life host sounds utterly dejected at the level and substance of abuse dished out on both sides of the counter.
And just as Las Vegas features the mythic $20 tip, the unofficial, unsanctioned upgrade to garner better service, The Wieners Circle created their own version: the $20 "chocolate shake." It will not be part of the expansion to the Sante Fe Station.
Menu details have yet to be released, but the Chicago branch serves char-broiled Vienna beef dogs with optional toppings of mustard, relish, onions, pickles, tomato, celery salt and sport peppers.
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