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Felony Franks

Jim Andrews of Chicago is on a mission to open a chain of hot dog stands and hire ex-convicts to give them a new start in life. That's a noble aim, but some neighbors object to the name he chose for the business. Felony Franks uses a hot dog behind bars as its logo.
2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti likes the idea of employing ex-felons but hates the name.

He thinks the name and the sign glorify crime.

"Felony Franks? The home of the misdemeanor wiener? Food so good it's criminal? You are actually in a sense elevating the life of crime here in our city and we cannot tolerate that."

John Hunt, an ex-felon who lives several block away, agrees with the alderman.

"It's a good thing if he's going to hire ex-felons because... that's a beautiful thing. But the name? He should change the name... Felony Franks is still making me feel like a felon."

Andrews plans to open his first stand next month. Link -via Unique Daily

nice idea, terrible name.

how can these guys move on with their lives working in a prison themed job? If there's one thing they've had enough of I bet it's the "prison theme"!

Also, it's not really going to improve their CVs, is it?
A nice nondescript name would be better for everyone.
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Plus all the idiots asking the vendors "so, what were you in for?" I'm not a felon, but I'd stab the 100th guy who asked me that.
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Yes....imagine if it had been years gone past and we were looking at "Cotton-Pickin-Chicken"? How might that make the workers feel? Is that still a good opportunity for a change of situation? I agree that maybe a leg up without tagging a stigma on their shirts may be a more tactful approach.
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Changing the name defeats the purpose, though. Hiring felons is not only about doing a good thing, it's also a gimmick to sell more dogs. Without it he's just another dog-slinger with criminals on staff.

I think of it sort of like a Hooters. If the employees don't like it, they can work somewhere else.
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This will be a great place for teenage wanna-be gangstas to practice their street cred, and if they cause any trouble they will have to deal with motherf$@#king Guido in the back kitchen.
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I think the idea is nice, in concept. The name really is humorous and the logo is clever. But how are his employees supposed to move past their history if just being an employee labels them as a felon?

The name is more about "look what a good thing I'm doing" than it is about helping ex-cons.
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"He thinks the name and the sign glorify crime."

It's a freaking hot dog stand. It is incapable of glorifying anything. Besides, this is Chicago we're talking about. I'm guessing the reason why Bob here doesn't like the idea of this place "elevating the life of crime" is because he and his fellow politicians don't want competition.
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I served 6 years in prison as a Youth for a non Violent crime.My record was sealed.I became a professional with 45K an average salary.I have not been in trouble with the law in over 30years.

But now with all the company's that get rich on finger print scans,background checks and violation of privacy My youth sealed past has forced me to pay a lawyer,and go through the whole run around to stay on the straight and narrow.I have gotten turned down for many jobs.3 apt's later.(in less than a year)Public assistance WAS NO HELP saying to get any money to get around to pass out resumes,and do job interveiws,I'd have to be in a shelter, and to get food stamps as well.

I am to old to do the minimum wage.And I have had to survive,like everyone else.Sadly people are so greedy and selfish that they'd rather see someone in jail and have tax dollars support them for 60+$$$ a year than have the person do the right thing by inspiring a new program that has a LABEL so it can get recognition/help from possibly grant givers or the Government.As for me I would rather not get mugged,or see people going ballistic/postal at their job sites.Lets support each other and new ways of fixing the society so we as a people may be productive.Because once your down on the shelter level,back around the people in ''the life'' the hustling world,there is no ''doing the right thing''until your taken down by Law enforcement...and by then who knows how many dollars have been spent and people hurt or killed.As for me now I call myself a street entrepreneur.I'd rather do time than go in a shelter!!and be give 18dollars of food stamps for the month!
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This has way too much off-colour joke potential with weiners and prisoners.

Just don't drop the soap in their kitchen.
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If it's not called Felony Franks I have no reason to eat there or even give it a shot. It's not like it's hard to get good hot-dogs in Chicago.
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Honestly, if I saw it on the street, I'd have thought that it was just a cute name for a hot dog stand with a cute slogan. I wouldn't have even considered that the employee must be a felon, or that would be the idea of the hot dog stand.
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I think this whole deal is ridiculous. I cant believe how ignorant and self centered people in our city are reacting towards this new restaurant. If this joint wants to hire ex-cons then so be it.

The so called "normal" and "fit" members of our community are always so hell bent on wanting criminals to find another outlet to a reasonable means of income yet, when they have the chance most put their noses in the air or look the other way. It is so hypocritical of anyone to argue with this man for wanting to hire ex felons. Get your heads out of your as**s because in case you "honorable" members of society didn't know..... poverty and no open doors for certain individuals to work causes crime....

I have been sitting here for the past few days just thinking about how so many people in this city are begging for better crime prevention and cleaner streets etc; and now some of yous want to run something down that could HELP THOSE WHO DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE turn away from that life that harms so many innocent folks. Its pure idiocy and hypocrisy. Those of you that argue this should go sip another bottle of juice and really think about what your saying because it seems your all just riding the "here and now" bandwagon.

I find it interesting that some of you guys are even voicing your opinions on this in the most insignificant ways without even stopping for a second to think that some of you yourselves are adding to the problem. How you ask? Your not giving people second chances to redeem themselves thus, pushing them back into a life of poverty and violence. By you wanting to shut something down that can help somebody start over from an old life full of trouble you are simply adding to the problem.

I just hope that most of you that want this place shut down because it "glorifies" crime have a change of mind. This hot dog joint can really be a good thing. If given a chance it could (in my opinion) reduce crime even if in just a small margin and help those in need. Stop and think about how you guys would feel if you were in a felons position.... The world is not always revolving around you.
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"Mommy, look at that silly hot dog in the prison uniform! I wamma be a criminal!!"
Do they really think a stupid sign is going 'glorifying crime'? Really?!
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At least give Mr. Andrews a little credit for doing something. What are you doing? Instead of complaining about those trying to help why don't you stand up and offer a helping hand? There is a bill, HR 1529, before congress right now that offers a real second chance to first time non-violent felons. Check it out at or Sign a petition; call your congressman get off your butt and do something positive. Most of these people only want to be productive citizens again and the current law throws every obstacle imaginable in their path and then we wonder why the recidivism rate is so high. Think Martha Stewart of Wesley Snipes instead of Al Capone or someone from the Sopranos. Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way of those who are not afraid to reach out.
Thank you Jim Andrews
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I think what Mr. Andrews is doing a great thing. I am a convicted felon, who resides in Iowa, can you believe there are actually felons in Iowa? I think the stigma of felons is ridiculous. Most of us are good people who have made bad choices, and who hasn't made a bad choice? The Almighty is the only one hasn't. A felon is the unfortunate one that was caught. I praise Mr. Andrews for giving felons a second chance at life, who doesn'r deserve a second chance in life? If the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn't you want one? think about it.
Futhermore, if Mr. Andrews ever wants to expand I would be honored opening a Felony Franks in the wonderful state of Iowa.
Keep up the good work Jim Andrews.
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Oh, and I praise you Heart Broken Dad. There are no more Al Capones out there. The prisons are full of petty criminals but our government makes us look like Al Capone. I know, I spent August of 1998 through June of 2008 incarcerated in a Federal prison on a conspiracy charge. I am not innocent but I had people tell on me that I didn't even know, and their word was GOLD. It only takes two people to fabricate a story get a conspiracy charge. That's all it takes. So every American needs to wake up because it could happened to them, believe it or not that's all it takes. A Conspiracy needs no physical evidence just two people with the same story. Everbody is naive until it happens to them.
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To David Stiel. You and those like you are the reason that I am fighting so hard for this bill. Oh, and also my son who fits the description you gave perfectly. I watched a system of less than honorable Federal proscutors and probation officers that,as a Vietnam Vet, I once swore to protect and defend manipulate facts and flat out lie to people including me to turn what, in state court, would have been handled with pre-trial diversion, into a felony conspiracy charge resulting in a 15 month sentence and tearing a family apart. No, he was not "innocent" but the price you and he along with thousands of others are having to pay is way too high. For al of your sakes, get the word out and make people understand that they must contact their House and Senate representatives and they must do it more than once. Don't forget, they work for us but they don't want to appear "soft on crime" and many just don't care. Together we can make them car or we can fire them. They are elected by "We The People"
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In addition to the websites that I mentioned in a previous post concerning HR 1529 there is another site where you may find a petition titled "A Second Chance For First Time Non-Violent Federal Offenders" You may sign the petition and at the same time sent a letter to your representatives. Very easy so no excuses. DOIT NOW
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Hats off to Mr. Andrews for addressing a great need! Too many felons who have done their time and wish to return to society, get a job and settle down, run into the attitude "I'm not so hot, but I'm a lot better than you are!' My suburban home is known as "Felony Farms" because I welcome felons to visit and encourage them to turn their often considerable legitimate talents into jobs. For a time we even had a hilarious rock band called "Four Felons and Miss Demeanor." It was an enjoyable way to work off frustrations and feel worthwhile, with hope for better times and acceptance. Everyone was polite. Nobody stole the silverware. On the contrary, visitors helped with the yardwork and voluntarily did various chores, especially when I was temporarily handicapped. Should crime be punished? Yes! But when time has been served and rehabilitation is underway, welcome felons back into society, instead of driving them back into despair and crime because employment is hopeless. Write your State and Federal Congressmen to remedy this situation instead of lavishing our tax money on the real criminals running big business.
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would people be having a problem with the name if the idea didn't involve hiring felons? In no way shape or form does the idea elevate crime in the city of chicago.
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I think it's a clever marketing promotion, personally. We have a franchise here in Maryland called Cluck U. Chicken and people don't make a stink about "if you replaced the 'Cl' with an 'F' it'd be a dirty word."

Props to the founder of the place if it draws business and is successful.
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Is anyone aware of the fact that Mr. Andrews does not do background checks on his employees and takes them at their word for why they are an ex-felon? This means that he could have pedaphiles working at his establishment, which is located right behind Crane High School.
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Geez, what a myriad of responses. The bottom line is, people are too damned sensitive about everything these days! I think the Felony Franks name and purpose is great--it lightens things up a bit too. BUT, it doesn't condone crime and it doesn't attempt to offend anyone! Good God, it's a wonder we even get through every day--try putting a little humor in your life while your ordering the "misdemeanor wiener" with everything! Meanwhile, there are those working there who are ready to get back to becoming viable people in society. I think FF is a great way to go.

More Power To Mr. Andrews... Where do I sign up to get MY franchise?
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I stopped in for a Felony Frank and Freedom Fries and completely embrace the spirit of humanity, upward mobility, community support and societal contributions that The Rescue Foundation (it's on the back of the menu) has put together. How do I sign up for a franchise?
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