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Frank 'n' Steins LLC owner John Chace says his company is the first commercial tenant in the Brewery District development.
SBJ file photo
Frank 'n' Steins LLC owner John Chace says his company is the first commercial tenant in the Brewery District development.

Hot dog venture signs on for Brewery District Flats

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A hot dog venture is slated to open within a month at downtown’s Brewery District Flats.

John Chace, the owner of Frank 'n' Steins LLC, said he’s targeting a late October or early November launch for the restaurant at 535 W. Walnut St.

“We are looking to bring Springfield something it doesn’t currently have, which is gourmet hot dogs, sausages, and we’re also going to deal in craft beers,” he said, pointing to the restaurant’s proximity to multiple apartment complexes, including the 25 lofts in Brewery District Flats. “So many things have gone up downtown over the last 10 years. Springfield continued to grow out for a long time, and now it’s actually starting to grow up.”

Chace said he signed a lease with 5999 LLC for undisclosed terms for over 1,800 square feet. He said Frank 'n' Steins would be the first commercial tenant for Brewery District Flats, a 29,000-square-foot development with room for 4,000 square feet of retail and office tenants on the ground floor, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Chace declined to disclose his investment in the venture, as well.

Brewery District Flats co-developer Christina Chanter could not be reached immediately for comment this morning about landing the commercial tenant.

The former owner of JC O'Malley's Irish Pub, Chace said the Frank 'n' Steins name came about after his wife Becca, an artist, drew a hot dog with bolts she called Frankie.

“As I was laughing, the whole concept came to me,” he said.

Chace is developing a menu and interior inspired by movies, such as an offering called Bite Club as an homage to “Fight Club.” He also plans to add a 4- to 5-pound menu item, tentatively called Frankenstein’s Monster, as a challenge to customers. If they are able to eat it within a time limit, the hot dog is free.

Plans for Frank 'n' Steins come as the owners of Hurts Donut Co. are seeking a location for their new Zombie Dogs and Fries concept. They previously planned to open the venture at Hurts Donut’s original downtown space, 301 Park Central West, but have since indicated more space is needed, according to past SBJ reporting. Hurts Donut owners Tim and Kas Clegg did not return a request for comment.

Chace said he admires the business skills of the Cleggs and thinks their hot dog concept — with custom toppings planned — differs from his.

“I have no doubt they’ll be fine no matter where they end up,” Chace said. “What they are doing is totally different from what anyone else does. I wish them all the best.”

The Frank 'n' Steins restaurant plans were first reported by the Springfield News-Leader.

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