I don't know if it was the cruelest month, but the massive storms a few weeks ago definitely led to this being the wettest April in 143 years of observational data for the Chicago area. Particularly hard hit were the western suburbs near the Des Plaines River, which are still dealing with the cleanup. This also happens to be where one of Serious Eats' favorite hot dog stands in the country, Gene & Jude's, is located.
The stand has flooded before (as I realized when I accidentally tweeted out a picture of flooding from 2008, instead of the shot from this year), but this one was especially bad. In one of the eeriest videos of the flood on YouTube, watch as someone kayaks past the establishment at the four minute mark.
The restaurant has been closed since mid-April, but there was finally some good news over the weekend, when Gene & Jude's announced on Facebook that it was renovating the space with help from "two construction crews, restaurant architects, devoted employees, good friends and much appreciated help from the Village of River Grove." Hopefully they won't change the stand too much, since it's straightforward nature has always been one of its charms, but this is obviously great news. There's no firm reopening date, though the stand hoped to be ready for the second weekend in May.
Check out the full Facebook message below:
At Gene and Jude's we have been working: day and night... night and day... day and night ... with two construction crews, restaurant architects, devoted employees, good friends and much appreciated help from the Village of River Grove.
We are ....Reconstructing - Replacing - Rebuilding
GENE AND JUDE'S IS CLOSED FOR THIS WEEK AND ALL OF NEXT WEEK -(possibly into 2cnd week in May)
G&J's still loves Chicago!!!