Good morning, troops. It's Tuesday, Dec. 11.
With winter fast approaching, the days have become darker, per usual. But for central Illinois hot dog lovers, these days might be even darker than usual.
In August, Nick in the Morning reported about the impending arrival in Morton of the Dog Haus, a California-based chain of restaurants that specialize in hand-crafted hot dogs and sausages.
A Dog Haus was to fill the space at 127 E. Ashland St., once occupied by a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. Now, it appears the Haus won't have that home.
The Morton location no longer is under Dog Haus consideration, according to the franchisee, Goalz Restaurant Group of Cheyenne, Wyo. Morton does not appear on a Dog Haus-website list of soon-to-open locations.
"It is extremely big, and we can’t come to terms on a realistic rent number," Goalz CEO Shawn Eby told us about the former Ruby Tuesday, which closed in 2016.
Eby's firm operates Dog Haus restaurants in Decatur and Rockford. Another Dog Haus is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.
No word on whether Goalz is considering other Peoria-area sites. The California-based chain began earlier this decade and has expanded to more than 40 open or planned locations in 13 states.
Dog Haus specialties include frankfurters adorned with bacon, cheddar-cheese sauce, caramelized onions and garlic aioli, to cite one example. Other toppings include arugula, avocados and jalapenos. They're served on grilled King's Hawaiian buns.
Hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and fried potatoes, topped with a variety of substances, also are on the menu, as is local craft beer.
It's too bad Morton couldn't join Rockford as Dog Haus locations that once housed Ruby Tuesday. Then again, we in the Peoria area always have Portillo's, which one travel website just deemed the nation's top fast-casual restaurant.
Nick in the Morning prefers a Portillo's Chicago-style dog, with mustard and onion. Keep that arugula and pineapple stuff on the Left Coast, please.
Better yet, when in Morton at lunchtime, check out the pseudo-legendary chili dogs at Susie's. They aren't as fancy as what's sold at the Dog Haus, but we're told they're the real deal.
This song was not heard on the way to work, but it asks an appropriate musical question, all things considered.