By Ashley Kohler and Charlotte Eriksen
The stench of Marlboro Red cigarettes waves through the air, plastic bottles and paper food cartons scatter the grassy floor beneath the picnic tables. The hot sun beams over the oddly quaint hot dog business.
Felony Franks, located at 229 S. Western Avenue, serves its trademark “misdemeanor wiener” and other jail-themed menu items through a bulletproof revolving glass window. The jail food gimmick is catchy, but the hot dog hut story is real. Felony Franks owner, Jim Andrews, 64, strictly employs his hot dog joint with ex-cons.
Andrews has received negative criticism from neighbors since his opening in July 2009, including Alderman Bob Fioretti, who publicly denounced the business and would not approve a curb cut for a drive-thru or sign permit.