by Jim Loew, photo Vince Bushell
Perhaps only in Riverwest is it possiblethat a funeral home can be convertedinto a prosperous hot dog eatery andbar. Yet this is what the new owners of House of Frank N Stein did.
Ismail Ozcan, who formerly owned arestaurant in Sussex and a retail clothingstore on Brady Street, purchased thebuilding with the idea that he wanted to do something a bit unusual. Looking for a manager, he found Susan Van Schaik,who ended up as an investment partnerand co-owner. The two of them openedHouse of Frank N Stein a few days beforeChristmas, 2005. The results have beenpositive. Business has increased everyweek, said Van Schaik.
House of Frank N Stein is open everyday from 5 pm to 2 am, with food servedall night. We get a lot of people comingin shortly before bar time who want abite to eat, said Van Schaik. There isalso happy hour every day from 5 pm to8 pm when, for $2.99, you get a hot dog,veggie or beef, and a Blatz. That wouldmake a lot of people happy. Thursdaysare $1 Pabst specials.
But its mostly about the food. Alongwith hot dogs, bratwurst, Italian andPolish sausage, you can also get otheritems such as a spicy sandwich calledYour Funeral, that contains spicyCajun-style Andouille sausage. Plusthere are chili-cheese dogs and theMonster Nachos, both popular items.If youre a vegetarian, House of FrankN Stein offers meat-free hot dogs, bratsand Italian sausage, served on veganbuns.
Around 60 varieties of bottled beersare sold, including one for $10 calledSamichlaus Bier. Its 14% alcohol, isthicker and a bit sweeter, Van Schaiksaid. We serve it in a snifter glass, sheadded.
Riverwest Currents online edition – June, 2006