Lovely piece by Dan Sinker on Doug Sohn, who today closed his namesake Hot Doug’s hot dog stand in Chicago:
Chicago, they say, is a city that works, and Doug, if he has done
nothing else, worked. He greeted every customer and took every
order for 13 years, nearly without interruption — not even for a
bathroom break. His devotion made the work inseparable from the
person in that uniquely Chicagoan way.
This is why, despite offers from investors and pleading from fans,
Doug would never sell the restaurant, or franchise it, or even
open a second location. You do your best work when you put
yourself into it, and for Doug that was always literal: The idea
of the restaurant existing without him was a nonstarter. When he
severely broke his leg a few years ago, the entire restaurant
closed while he recovered because he couldn’t work the counter.