Henry’s Hot Dogs, Cicero, Illinois



I’ve just completed my first painting from historic Route 66 in Illinois (oil on canvas, 40″x40″). Last fall, Richard and I set off to discover the beginning section of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis and what a delight it was! The actual starting point is in the heart of downtown Chicago right on Lake Michigan and no guidebooks told us that the plaque was a few blocks away – so we circled the block a few times looking for it and finally gave up! It was a gloomy, rainy day which wasn’t my ideal for shooting roadside attractions (usually prefer blue sky and shadows), but as we made our way in to Cicero – just south of Chicago, we came across this amazing sight! Henry’s Hot Dogs! A giant hot dog with fries on top of the bun and the words “It’s a meal in itself”! I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

According to legend “this classic Chicago-land hot dog stand was started in the 50′s by a guy whose surname was Henry. He originally started off with a hot dog wagon on Austin just north of Ogden. When Route 66 was getting going, Henry then built and opened up his own place where it stills stands today.” We wish Henry’s continued success and bravo for the wonderful sign!

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