For Dominick Pulli, the hot dogs at Gene and Jude's in River Grove were always the epitome of a Chicago-style hot dog. Nothing could compare.
He grew up going to the hot dog joint in River Grove with his mom. She'd grown up in nearby Des Plaines, and often when they'd head back that way to visit her family, she'd bring him to Gene and Jude's for the best hot dogs around.
It was always such a memorable experience for him. And in the years since then, he's gone back on his own and with his own family to taste the memorable dogs.
Now Pulli is hoping to create a similar memorable experience for customers along the Randall Road corridor with his own hot dog joint, Chicago Grill.
He opened the business at 335 N. Randall Road in Lake in the Hills at the end of July.
Since then he's been perfecting everything, readying Chicago Grill for its grand opening this week, Pulli said.
Customers that pop into the business will find hot dogs modeled after Gene and Jude's, with the plain steamed bun, Vienna beef hot dog, mustard, onions, sport peppers and relish, and with fresh cut homemade fries slapped on top.
"We wanted to bring a whole different Chicago-style hot dog to the area, something different than the area is used to getting," he said.
"There are different ways to do a Chicago-style hot dog. One of my favorite places to get a hot dog is Gene and Jude's in River Grove and this is what we're going for," he said. "The area needs something like this, it definitely does."
Chicago Grill, which opened in the former Pita Kabobs restaurant, next to Cold Stone Creamery, has more on its menu than you'd find at its River Grove inspiration.
But, it's all purely Chicago inspired.
The restaurant has traditional fast food eats, including Maxwell Street Polish, Italian beef made from scratch and Italian sausage.
Chicago Grill will even feature brats from the local Ream's Elburn Meat Market, in Elburn, Pulli said.
And of course, it's serving up some homemade giardiniera to top all of those Chicago creations.
Pulli's giardiniera already is well known along the Randall Road corridor from his other restaurant, Bubs Subs in Algonquin.
Pulli opened Bubs Subs, 260 S. Randall Road, in 2011 in front of the Home Depot, on the west side of Randall.
He added a second location on the east side of Algonquin last year, but recently closed that restaurant to focus on making the quality of the original location top notch, and to focus on bringing the new Chicago Grill to the Randall Road corridor.
He's now hoping customers will come out to try his new venture.
"I know we can fill the void in the area of good Chicago-style hot dogs," he said. "They're the best hot dogs you'll taste. We think the area needs it."
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from South Elgin to Batavia. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (847) 894-5036.