Thursday, April 6, 2017

The History of Fluky's Hot Dog Stands & Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois.

Fluky's founder Abe "Fluky" Drexler first started in 1929 on Maxwell and Halsted Streets in Chicago. They carried all the character and romance for which Chicago Street Merchants were famous, and Fluky's reputation as having the best "Hot Dog" in the city started to grow.
Fluky's Grand Opening on Maxwell and Halsted Streets in Chicago. April 16, 1929
In 1932, a second Fluky's was opened, and then in 1935, a third and a fourth in 1936. Fluky's became known for its "Depression Sandwich" - a hot dog with mustard, relish, onion, pickles, pepper, lettuce, tomatoes and French fries FOR ONLY 5¢!  The "Garden on a Bun" was the depression sandwich without the hot dog and cost only 2¢.
Fluky's reputation was built on good food, good service and good will through the hard times of the depression. Many youngsters and adults who didn't have the nickel were fed anyway.

With the coming of World War II came meat rationing. This made it difficult to get the quality product Fluky's needed, and within a short time, Fluky's closed its doors at three of its locations and the fourth was the only store that was to continue until 1955. 

On February 18, 1964 Fluky's again opened its doors, after 9 years of silence. The opening was greeted with a tremendous outpouring of warmth and fondness from thousands who had many fond memories.
In just a few months, Fluky's was the largest Hot Dog stand in the Chicago area. Except Fluky's was no longer a Hot Dog Stand. It was now housed in a large glass-enclosed structure, previously unknown in the Hot Dog industry of push-carts and street stands.

Fluky's had made a giant step toward upgrading the Hot Dog business. The new building was on the west side of Western Avenue at 6732 North Western Avenue in the West Ridge community of Chicago (not in Rogers Park). There was a long thin counter at the very large windows to stand and eat which faced Western Avenue.
In 1998 Fluky's move to the east side of Western Avenue at 6821 N. Western Avenue in the West Ridge community of Chicago, where the new location offered a drive-thru. Fluky's closed on February 13, 2006. 
Abe Drexler's son, Jack opened a Fluky's in the Wal-Mart at 5630 W Touhy Avenue, Niles, Illinois. Many say that it is not the same. Perhaps they are just being nostalgic. Your comments are welcome.
Let's not forget the Hot Dog Gum  given with counter orders.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.