Doggy in the Window pops up in The Ideal Bar
Find a classic Chicago dog or try one of the other combinations.
The Ideal Bar has two front-facing windows. At the right one find drinks to enjoy on the patio, but on the left, there’s a new pop-up concept that’s delivering great hot dogs as a tenant of the bar.
Doggy in the Window, is “a little neighborhood hot spot,” Josh Swentzel says, located in The Ideal Bar in Schenk’s Corners on Atwood Avenue.
Swentzel, co-owner of the Ohio Tavern and Star Liquor, says the idea of selling hot dogs was originally meant to be a prank. With the tacos at the Ohio Tavern becoming increasingly popular, Swentzel says the bar was going to randomly switch to hot dogs for a week as a response to “non-tipping” food tourists.
“But then COVID happened,” Swentzel says. “And we were like ‘well, we can’t do that now because we have to try to make it through this.’” Swentzel didn’t forget about a pop-up hot dog spot and when the Ideal opened its window to sell drinks at the bar’s new outdoor seating, Swentzel set his sights on the bar’s other side window. “I was like, ‘can I serve hot dogs?’”
The owners of the Ideal agreed and Doggy in the Window opened for carryout business on Aug. 18. Patrons are encouraged to order a dog, a beverage from the Ideal and grab a spot at one of the outdoor tables.
Open six days a week, Doggy in the Window’s menu focuses on classic dogs and originals dreamed up by Swentzel. All hot dogs are 100% beef Vienna hot dogs, but vegetarian, plant-based hot dogs are also available on request.
The Chicago Dog is a staple at Doggy on the Window. “There is only way to make a Chicago dog and everybody acts like they do it right and most places cheat on something, but we’re not cheating on nothing,” Swentzel says. “We’re doing it right.”
Complete with a dill pickle spear, yellow mustard, white onion, sport peppers, tomatoes, celery salt, relish and a poppy seed bun, “a Chicago dog is the best example of umami in the world,” Swentzel says. Other popular dogs include the Carolina Dog with spicy beef chili and the Coney Island Dog with classic meat sauce and cheese.
The Curio Dog is “the weird one on the menu,” Swentzel says. Focusing on Asian flavors, the Curio Dog is topped with kimchi relish, nori tsukudani, Kewpie mayo and toasted sesame seeds. “That dog is funny — I honestly believe it’s one of the most delicious dogs I’ve ever eaten but it’s a parody of how ridiculous ‘foodie-ness’ has gotten. It’s really instagrammable, it’s a very attractive hot dog, but it’s also just ridiculous.”
Swentzel says there has been a good response so far. “People are super happy to have a food that is often overlooked as junk food but to be really delicious junk food,” he says.
Looking to the future Swentzel says Doggy in the Window could continue as a delivery service but he’s looking at other options. “This is purely us trying to make the best of a weird situation but I am hoping it can be more than an idea for a weird time.”