Gene & Jude's

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Gene's and Jude's
Gene&Jude's logo.png
Gene and judes.jpg
The south wall of the stand
Restaurant information
Established1946 (1946)
Owner(s)J Mormino
Food typeChicago-style hot dog
Street address2720 N River Road
CityRiver Grove
Postal/ZIP Code60171
CountryUnited States
Coordinates41°55′48″N 87°50′48″W / 41.93005°N 87.84661°W / 41.93005; -87.84661Coordinates: 41°55′48″N 87°50′48″W / 41.93005°N 87.84661°W / 41.93005; -87.84661
Gene & Jude's

Gene's & Jude's or (sic: Gene & Jude's) is a popular and iconic hot dog stand in River Grove, Illinois,[1] founded in 1946 by Chicago city worker Gene Mormino.[2] The stand is famous for its limited approach to the Chicago-style hot dog, its toppings departing from tradition by including only mustard, onions, relish, sport peppers and fresh cut French fries placed on top, known as a Depression Dog.[3] The menu is limited to hot dogs, double dogs, tamales and fries, and, atypical of Chicago hot dog stands, lacks any trace of ketchup even for dipping the fries.[2]


Regular hot dog with everything

In 1946 city worker Gene Mormino was at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field when Gene decided if he added French fries to his hot dog it would give it a gratifying dose of saltiness and crunchiness.[citation needed] Based on that idea, he started a hot dog stand at Polk & Western Streets in Chicago.[citation needed] The restaurant quickly gained popularity, but 3 years later Gene lost the entire stand in a card game in 1949.[citation needed]

In 1950 Gene gathered enough money and moved operations to the current location in River Grove, Illinois also taking in friend and co-worker Jude DeSantis.[citation needed] Since 2004 it has been owned and run by J. Mormino, Gene's son.[citation needed]

In 2006, Gene's & Jude's was inducted into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame.[4] In 2011, in a competition of 64 hot dog stands across the country, it was chosen by the magazine "Every Day with Rachael Ray" and the food blog Serious Eats as the best hot dog in America.[5] During the 50s, Gene and Jude's was a frame building and was not actually called Gene & Jude's - the sign of the stand simply said "Vienna Red Hots."[citation needed] Customers referred to it as "River Road Hot Dogs" or "Vienna's."[citation needed] During the 1950s, Gene & Jude's had a takeout window, and its drinks were sold in bottles.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Gene & Jude's". Yelp. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  2. ^ a b Malooley, Jake. "Minimalist Hot Dog Stand". Restaurants & Bars. Time Out Chicago / Issue 175 : Jul 3–9, 2008. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  3. ^ "Hot Dog of the Week: Depression Dog". Serious Eats. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  4. ^ "Vienna Beef Hall of Fame".
  5. ^ "The Stew". Chicago Tribune. 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2011-02-05.

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