Ray's Red Hots -- download vcard

Hot dogs, Chicago style, tragically closed: but now reopened

Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed: 11am-8pm, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 11am-3am, Sun: 12pm-8pm
Phone: (734) 996-3663
Address: 629 East University, Ann Arbor, 48104
Handicap access:
Owner: Ray

August 28, 2009 lunch report. Now re-opened under the new name of "Ray's Red Hots" -- menu very close, but not identical to, the Red Hot Lover's offerings. About as good as expected/hoped. Fries the tiniest amount underdone, but they'll sort that out. Cash only.

A campus favorite for over 20 years. Specialized in genuine Chicago-style hot dogs, but had branched out from there. Made a brief foray into franchising when it changed its name to "Chicago Dog House," but dropped that and all is forgiven.

Waffle fries. Waffle fries with *cheese*. Be still my beating heart. For the complete vegetarian meal that's worse for you than red meat, see also the superb tempeh burgers from Rosewood Farms. Best vegan burger in A2 (also true enlightenment awaits those who journey to Ypsilanti).

Dollar dogs, $1 with 2 toppings.

Located at the corner of East University at Willard Street.

twittercorrespondent @ardgedee writes: "Red Hot Lovers is putting in a falafel bar. Soon you can get cheese fries & hummus in one stop."

Tragic end

It looks like Red Hot Lovers is now closed. There has been a water shut off notice on the door for approximately one week. After closing for the winter break, Red Hot Lovers did not re-open.

The Ann Arbor Chronicle noted the love letters written on the door, leading with "I would spend our whole endowment on your cheese fries, Love, Mary Sue".

The Forest writes "I will always remember telling them that my name was George. I will always remember walking in from the cold and hanging up my jacket before sitting down in one of their booths where the table always seemed a little to close to the seats. Even though your new owner was a dick, I will miss you Red Hot Lovers, and I am sad that I was not there to see your end."

In the news

WG: As someone who grew up on Chicago Hot Dogs (check out Muskie's, Portillio', and pretty much anyplace that has a Vienna beef sign on it next time you are in Chicago) I think they do a pretty good job overall. The hot dog is supposed to be a bit crispy in that it makes a noise when you bite through the skin. This hot dog did that. The fixings are fresh and colorful (the relish is the right color of green, which means it has been affixed with the right amount of food dye) and the overall taste is right on.

Chris Timmann, who owned the restaurant from 1993 to 2007, returns as director of operations, and Ray Johnston, whose family has owned the building at 629 East University since 1966, is the new owner.

Back in the day

Red Hot Lovers was established in 1983 by Alan Cantor, a Chicago native and hot dog lover, and his partner, Tom Blackburn, with the idea of bringing a "Chicago-style hot dog place to Ann Arbor," according to current owner and manager Dennis Jones.

"The ambiance is not appropriate for a romantic lunch," Crump wrote.

What the man says