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Dox Grill Closes, Marking End of an Era in Bridgeport

By Casey Cora | March 6, 2013 6:10am

BRIDGEPORT — A very greasy spoon has slipped out of business.

Dox Grill, 600 W. Pershing Road, has closed after what’s believed to be a five-decade run slinging burgers, fries and round-the-clock breakfasts to the neighborhood.

So what happened?

“Business got bad,” said Mike Jasick, owner of the 24-hour grill for about 20 years.

The diner closed for a few days after a small fire broke out on New Year’s Eve. But the reopening of Dox was short-lived, with Jasick deciding to hang it up for good after only a month.

In February, a production crew from NBC's "Chicago Fire" transformed Dox into Tuxhorn's Diner Grill — “Famous for the best Chicago style hot dogs in the world." The sign has since been switched back to Dox, complete with a corner sign touting Italian beef and sausage sandwiches.

Though business slowed in recent years, Jasick said the diner was propped up by a handful of regulars and “people who moved from the neighborhood and always come back.”

Dox, one of a few 24-hour joints on Pershing Road, has long offered an option for cops, truckers, and the late-night and early-morning crowds.

Randy Baumgarten, who runs the nearby Lee Lumber Company's South Side branch, remembers Dox in its 1960s heyday as a place where short-order cooks would shout out hamburger orders with sayings like “run it through the garden and paint it red” — that's lettuce and tomato with ketchup.

Baumgarten, 63, said he used to fetch food for himself and workers at his dad’s lumber company, located kitty corner to the grill, when he was a kid.

He said Dox had rightly earned its reputation as a greasy spoon.

“This is before they had air conditioning there, I remember this toothless guy worked the grill. The sweat from his head would hit the grill and sizzle,” he said with a laugh. “I’m sad to see Dox go. It’s an institution.”

Online city records show the restaurant failed its most recent health inspection.