Busy Beaver has happily partnered with our old pals at Hot Doug‘s for this weekend’s Dog Dayz of Summer. For two days only, Hot Doug’s Doug Sohn will pop-up his legendary restaurant at Goose Island Barrel Warehouse in Chicago. Attendees will enjoy an exclusive “best hits from Hot Doug’s” in a festival-like setting, paired with delicious beverages and live music.
But it’s gets better! We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to the final Dog Dayz session on Sunday June 28th at 5pm. Check Busy Beaver’s Facebook tomorrow morning, Thursday June 25th, for details on how you can enter.
Our ties with Hot Doug’s run deep– Beaver Dam founder Christen Carter once recorded a Hot Doug’s theme song that was a regular part of the restaurant playlist until the day it closed, and the Hot Doug’s Button-O-Matic was consistently the most popular machine in the city. One of the most iconic Hot Doug’s images came from former Beaver, Jay Castaldi– a riff on the Black Flag logo that became a much sought-after button. In honor of the (temporary) return of Hot Doug’s encased meats, we reached out to Jay to tell us the story behind that legendary button design.
How did the Black Flag/Hot Doug’s design come about?
Jay: I’m not sure when or where the inspiration struck, but one day I just realized that the four bars in the classic Black Flag logo could really easily be changed into hot dogs. It was a short leap from there to the Hot Doug’s/Black Flag logo. Black Flag are one of my all-time favorite bands, and their logo is absolutely my all-time favorite band logo. It’s so simple that anyone can quickly draw it, and to a certain subculture it is instantly recognizable.
I was a rabid supporter of Doug from the start, and I’m the kind of person who can’t contain his enthusiasm. Before the buttons came t-shirts. I wanted a shirt with that design for myself, so I just made it happen. I gave a few to some other friends, and brought the remainder to Doug to do with as he pleased. He was surprised, appreciative, and humble.
So how did the design end up on buttons?
Jay: While those shirts were being made, a bunch of friends who didn’t get one of the original “demo version” shirts were bummed to have missed out. I figured I could appease them with some 1″ buttons, so I put in an order for 50, again with the plan of giving some to friends, and giving the rest to Doug. After I placed my order, Christen emailed me to ask if these were a gift for Doug, and if so, Busy Beaver would like to contribute to the gift with another 50 buttons for Doug. I explained what I was up to, and next thing I know I had a batch of 100 buttons, most of which went to Doug.
BB: Any other good Hot Doug’s stories?
Jay: In June of 2014, my wife and I moved from Chicago to Portland, OR. For the record, Doug knew that we were moving before he made the announcement that he was closing up shop, I leave it up to others to decide whether or not the two incidents are related. As the last day approached, I got increasingly bummed that I would not be able to be there at the end. What I ultimately did: On the last day, October 3, 2014, I got a tattoo of the Hot Doug’s logo. Except in my tattoo, the Hot Doug character is dead, with X’s for eyes and his arms folded across his encased meat chest in a corpse pose. This means that he has dropped his bag of fries, which have spilled into the shape of the Black Flag bars.