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updated: 2/28/2012 9:38 AM

Algonquin's Day Go Dogs inspired by Gene & Jude's

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  • Richie Vaia is co-owner of Day Go Dogs in Algonquin. The hot dog joint, which opened in December, models itself after Gene & Jude's in River Grove.

      Richie Vaia is co-owner of Day Go Dogs in Algonquin. The hot dog joint, which opened in December, models itself after Gene & Jude's in River Grove.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer


There's a new hot dog joint along the Randall Road corridor. And if you've ever been to Gene & Jude's in River Grove, it may seem a little familiar with you.

Owners Richie Vaia and John Russo grew up on Gene & Jude's, which is famous for Chicago-style red hots served in a no-frills atmosphere. It's been Vaia's favorite since he was 5, and Russo even worked there when he was younger.

When they moved out to the Fox Valley, they decided this area needed something just as good.

So in December, they opened Day Go Dogs at 2761 W. Algonquin Road, just west of Randall in Algonquin.

While Day Go Dogs is its own business, it is similar to Gene & Jude's in its simple menu and atmosphere, Vaia said.

Day Go Dogs' menu in Algonquin features Vienna beef hot dogs, fresh cut fries, beef, burgers, sausage and tamales.

In the spring, the restaurant will start serving homemade Italian ice too, Vaia said.

The Vienna beef dogs come wrapped with the fresh cut fries on top of the bun, just like Gene & Jude's.

The hot dogs are topped with mustard, onions, relish and sport peppers.

And they only allow ketchup for children, Vaia said.

"We had no ketchup at first, but it's a different breed out here," Vaia said. "(Customers) want ketchup so we added ketchup for under 12."
Since the restaurant opened, he said, Day Go Dogs has served more than 25,000 hot dogs.

The restaurant seats about 30 people, but many people stop in to get their food to go.

"I just want to thank all of the people that have opened their arms and supported us since day one," Vaia said. "Since the day we opened the doors, the line has been out the door on Saturdays and Sundays. You can't find a place to sit.

"We are thankful to all of our customers," he said.

Stories and sweets: The Panera Bread along Randall Road in Elgin, in conjunction with the Dundee Township Library, is hosting some upcoming story time events.

From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, March 5 and 19 and April 2, they will have the story times, which also will feature some yummies from Panera.

The kiddos will get to hear stories and have the treats at the event, which is held in Panera's conference room.

The Elgin Panera is at 2482 N. Randall, just north of I-90.

You can register for the story time or get information by calling (847) 428-3661, or by going to

Read Across America: In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America Day, the Barnes and Noble along Randall Road in Geneva is hosting a special event Saturday, March 3.

At 11 a.m., store employees will be reading Dr. Seuss books to children in celebration of the day dedicated to promoting reading and literacy.

The event is free.

For information call the store at (630) 262-8568.

• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Crystal Lake to Batavia. Contact her at or at (847) 894-5036.

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