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Hot Doug's Line is So Long, Rub's BBQ Will Smoke Brisket In it for 10 Hours

By  Benjamin Woodard and Justin Breen | October 1, 2014 3:48pm 

 Chicago's beloved hot dog spot, Hot Doug's, is closing permanently in October.
Hot Doug's Closing
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AVONDALE — What should you do while waiting 10 hours in line for one of the last sausages ever made at Hot Doug's?

Some people get married, while others watch movies to kill time.

But Jared Leonard has another idea: barbecue.

The owner of Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse in Rogers Park and his barbecue buddy Gary Wiviott — who at one time had a Hot Doug's sausage named after him — plan to smoke two 15-pound briskets Thursday while they wait.

They plan to wheel a black, upright drum smoker to 3324 N. California Ave. and fire it up by 4 a.m., securing their smoky place in line as they await the hot dog shop's 10:30 a.m. opening.

Ben Woodard says they aren't 100 percent sure it's legal to smoke briskets on public sidewalks:

 The barbecue lovers have a smoker on wheels and two 15-pound briskets ready for the 10-hour wait.
The barbecue lovers have a smoker on wheels and two 15-pound briskets ready for the 10-hour wait.
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Twitter/@thefanger (inset: Facebook/Rub's)

"A lot of the stories that have came out are covering what people are doing for 8 to 10 hours," Leonard said. "Some people have brought a laptop computer to watch movies, but I thought, when I have 10 or 12 hours, I can make barbecue. ... We'll make everyone salivate while they wait because smoking meat smells so delicious."

Since Hot Doug's Doug Sohn announced he'd be closing his famous restaurant, fans have been flocking to get that one last sausage and order of duck-fat fries before it shutters for good on Friday.

So many people have been turning out, in fact, the lines have formed early — some are even lining up the night before — and the past few days Doug's has closed the line before the shop has even opened for business.

Leonard said he is a devout Hot Doug's patron and stops in once a month.

So to pay his respects to Chicago's hot dog king, he cooked up the idea to bring his smoker. When he finally gets to the front of the line, he'll present the 30 pounds of slow-cooked brisket to Sohn and his staff.

"At the end of the day, working at your restaurant, you don't want to eat your own food, whether you work at Alinea or McDonald's — it's nice to have someone bring something to you," he said.

Leonard's smoker is sure to turn a few heads, so he's taking the opportunity to promote the upcoming Windy City BBQ Classic, which he and Wiviott organize.

If anyone in line complains about the smoker — or the city takes offense — they have a backup plan to move the smoker to Hot Doug's backyard. Leonard said Sohn loves their plan. Sohn told Leonard, "I love to eat brisket."

At the end of the day, Leonard plans to have Sohn sign the smoker.

"It's great to see someone go out on top," Leonard said of Sohn's exit. "You never want to see someone overstay their welcome. He said, 'Hey, I did my thing, I put in my decade — and I'm going out on top."

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