In Chicago, a hot dog stand that employs ex-convicts called Felony Franks is under fire, because it has a funny name and a cute logo (the cartoon frankfurter is in jail, get it?). Now, the eatery has been ruffling feathers since it debuted earlier this year, but today the Wall Street Journal decided to pick it up, opening up a whole new can of controversy.
Some customers just laugh. Others who live nearby think the penal puns are an affront to a community grappling with crime and trying to change for the better.But even though "Misdemeanor Wiener" is admittedly more than a little dicey for the sex offender realm, is the whole, hokey (cartoonish even) jail theme really worse than something like California's asylum-themed Psycho Donuts? Probably not.
As the WSJ piece points out, Felony Franks isn't the first eatery to employ ex-cons, but it's the first to cause such a stir. Thing is, it's a huge hit too:
Despite the controversy, Mr. Andrews says he's rung up about $30,000 in sales each month since opening, and has received more than 1,000 job applications from former felons. He envisions opening more Felony Franks in Chicago and says he's already received dozens of unsolicited requests from prospective franchisees across the U.S."So, yeah, coming soon to a sketchy neighborhood near you: a Chain Gang Chili Dog that is "so good it's criminal."
· Slaw and Order: Hot-Dog Stand in Chicago Triggers a Frank Debate [WSJ]