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Wheeling begins Superdawg countdown
By Nadia Malik | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/22/2008 12:10 AM | Updated: 4/22/2008 11:29 AM

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A Chicago icon is about a year away from opening a location in Wheeling.

The village board approved various requests for a Superdawg drive-in at its board meeting Monday.

Scott Berman, attorney and son of Superdawg founders Maurie and Flaurie Berman, said his family plans on breaking ground on the restaurant in 8 to 10 weeks. It'll be about a year before the grand opening, he said.

The couple opened the original location in May of 1948, just during the summer months. Maurie had returned from World War II and was attending college, and Flaurie had just graduated. They were looking for a way to bring in money during the summer, but the business remained and became year-round in 1950.

The restaurant, planned for a site adjacent to a forest at 335 S. Milwaukee Ave., will be largely based on the design at the Chicago location, with one notable difference.

The 12-foot hot dog statues on top of the building -- representing Maurie and Flaurie -- will be 14 feet in Wheeling.

Otherwise, the owners will continue to have car hops and a picnic area for customers.

The restaurant will also introduce a new drive-through, where customers can still order at the car stalls and then will be called up to the window when their orders are ready. This way, Berman said, it will eliminate a build-up of traffic around the building, which the village had requested.

The idea was formally introduced to the village in August of last year, and it's gone through plan commission hearings in the past months.

Berman said the building was designed to be like the original Chicago location at 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is celebrating its 60th year, including the blue and white diamonds on the outside of the building's black walls.

"Everything we're doing here is very deluxe," he said. "We want to be proud of it."

Interim Village President Pat Horcher said this is one of the developments in town that he gets asked the most about.

"It's this national phenomenon, and now Wheeling's got a little part of it," he said.