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Frank Meats Patty Alum Goes Solo, Opening Bob's El Stop in Lakeview

By Ariel Cheung | January 15, 2016 5:03pm | Updated on January 19, 2016 8:39am
 Bob's El Stop, 947 W. Wellington Ave., will open next week in the former Hot Diggity Dog spot next to the Brown Line Wellington 'L' station.
Bob's El Stop, 947 W. Wellington Ave., will open next week in the former Hot Diggity Dog spot next to the Brown Line Wellington 'L' station.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

SOUTH LAKEVIEW — For years, Bob Corbett managed some of the best-known hot dog stands in Chicago: Fatso's Last Stand and Frank Meats Patty.

Now, he's breaking off on his own.

Corbett will open Bob's El Stop in the next couple days next to the Wellington Brown Line 'L' station. His licenses are approved, his inspections are passed, but he wants to tweak the menu a little more, he said.

"I think when they taste the way I make burgers, I think the people are going to love them," Corbett said Friday. "As far as the rest of it, it's just what I know — what I do very, very well."

Bob's El Stop, 947 W. Wellington Ave., will replace Hot Diggity Dog, which closed in June after five years in business. Bob's will feature chardogs and burgers, but will also have chicken sandwiches and salads for those with healthy eating in mind.

Renovations began about four months ago but were minimal, as Hot Diggity Dog left the space in "immaculate" shape, Corbett said. He redid the floors and added a coat of fresh paint. He'll also be adding some photographs depicting "what my Chicago is," he said.

Frank Meats Patty, housed in the former Hot Doug's, closed in December. Owner David Jacobs plans to open something new in the location moving forward, but declined to share more details.

At the time, Corbett was still figuring out whether he would stay with the company or go it alone.

"I just don't know if it really felt like it was working," Corbett said. "When we heard about Hot Doug's space becoming available, I think everyone wanted to jump at that."

After Frank Meats Patty opened in January 2015, though, "there were some different ideas of how we thought it should be going." After a year, the space was put up for sale.

Corbett said it was time to break off on his own after years managing the two stands in Avondale and Ukrainian Village, although he said he still "gets along great with those guys."

"I was at the point in my life where I needed to grow and do something on my own," Corbett said. "Managing is one thing, but I wanted ownership."

Now, every detail of Bob's El Stop — down to the sign out front — has Corbett's name on it. He nixed the yellow paint from the days of Hot Diggity Dog, opting for a more neutral beige.

The menu is a love letter to all his favorites from past jobs, including a deli he ran before getting into the hot dog business.

"I think that's what people are going to enjoy — the affordable, fresh burgers and dogs. That's what's going to stand out," Corbett said.

He plans to open at 7 a.m. on weekdays with coffee and pastries for morning commuters, who can stop by to grab breakfast on the way to the train.

Dark Matter will provide the coffee, but Corbett is still on the hunt for a pastry provider after Glazed and Infused decided to shut down its partnership program, he said.

Corbett also promised that any unsatisfied customers can come to him and "the buck stops here."

"If people don't like something, I'll make it over and get it done. I take it very seriously," Corbett said. "Even though it's just a hot dog joint or hamburger stand, you can still have the quality."

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