CHICAGO - Everyone knows the City of Chicago is very devoted to the hotdog, and now one spot hopes it can save jobs, too.
Another hotdog joint in Chicago normally would not make news. But Mister E’s Late Night in Logan Square is certainly an anomaly as it opens up in the midst of a restaurant shuttering pandemic.
"Growing up we would go to these places all the time. That's what we were able to afford, so i think it was a good fit for the neighborhood and the timing was right," said restaurant owner Esam Hani.
Hani thinks hungry and cash strapped Chicagoans need some affordable food right now, but this is mainly about his employees.
Hani owns seven restaurants on the block of Milwaukee Avenue.
"We're losing on most of them. The others just hanging by a thread and we're just hanging in there," Hani said.
He has had to lay off 70-plus employees, but the tiny new hotdog place means he just hired six of them back.
"That's my job these days, to keep the place open and keep my team, you know, employed. And that’s what I think about every day," Hani said.
Hani has had to close two of his restaurants, so the crew working at the new hotdog spot used to serve Italian across the street.
Gizelle Jimenez now works the register at Mister E’s Late Night, knowing so many others in the restaurant industry are out of work.
"I'm blessed. Blessed and grateful for Esam giving us this opportunity," she said.
Mister E's hopes to bring back more employees, but they could use some business.
"Just come by and visit us, please," Jimenez said.