Susie’s Drive Thru on Montrose Avenue closes, as property being sold; 24-hour hotdog stand offered wide variety of milkshake flavors, had become iconic landmark on Chicago’s NW Side
by BRIAN NADIG
Known for its hot dogs, fries and long list of milkshake flavors, Susie’s Drive Thru at 4126-30 W. Montrose Ave. in the Mayfair/Old Irving Park area has closed, and the property is being sold.
Northwest Side resident and local historian Dan Pogorzelski said that he often brought friends and co-workers from Europe to Susie’s, comparing it to the Superdawg Drive-In at 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave.
“Susie’s was our quintessential kind of American place,” Pogorzelski said. “It was a very American experience, (and) the fact that it was open 24 hours was very convenient.”
Susie’s had two drive-up windows, and the 600-square-foot, stand-alone building, featuring pictures of menu items, stood out to passers-by in part because little about the structure seemed to change over the years. The building fronts Montrose and is surrounded by a parking lot on the other three sides.
The restaurant, which opened about 50 years ago, reportedly had reduced its operating hours in recent years but did begin accepting credit cards. Several online reviews from a few years ago praised the food but cautioned new customers that it was a cash-only business.
A recording on the restaurant’s phone said that Susie’s is closed for maintenance and repairs, but the Susie’s name on the sign recently was covered up.
Bill Dafnis, a broker associate with RE/MAX Suburban, which lists the property, said that the hotdog stand has closed and that the sale of the triangular-shaped parcel is expected to be finalized this week.
Details on the site’s future were not available.
The city’s zoning map lists the approximately 8,500-square-foot parcel as RS-3, which is primarily intended for single-family homes and two-flats. Immediately to the northwest of the site along Keokuk Avenue is a series of homes.
A spokesperson for Alderman Samatha Nugent (39th) said that no one has approached the ward office about redeveloping the site.