The city that loves to eat and brag about its hot dogs is reeling from news that one of Chicago's most popular stands is closing and the owner of a different hot dog institution is seeking a buyer. Doug Sohn's announcement this week that he was closing Hot Doug's, where options include franks made of rattlesnake and yak, elicited an outpouring of distress. And the news that Portillo's may be sold has triggered a push by fans to chip in and buy it. The response makes sense in a city whose love affair with hot dogs dates back to 1893, when visitors to the World's Columbian Exposition gobbled them up by the thousands. Vienna Beef says an estimated 200,000 hot dogs are sold weekly in the Chicago area.
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