MURPHYSBORO — Frederick Weber has a sense of humor.
Just hours after his hot dog cart, HauteDawgs, burned on July 24 in Murphysboro, Weber's post on the HauteDawgs Facebook page read, “the name of the next cart, Flaming Freddy’s.”
Weber received burns on about 15 to 20 percent of his body in the fire. He was still in the emergency room when he was first called “Flaming Freddy.”
“My wife joked and said, ‘We should call you Flaming Freddy,’ he said. "The nurse said she liked it."
He decided to post it as a joke.
On July 27, Weber once again took to social media. “Should I change the name from HauteDawgs to Flaming Freddy’s?” he asked.
Eighty-five percent of those voting said yes — and a new business name was born.
The business reopened in late August under the name Flaming Freddy’s with a new logo.
Weber said the name change has been very well received. When new customers learn the story behind the name, they chuckle. Existing customers like the name, too.
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The new logo features a cartoon Weber holding flaming hot dogs. It reads, “Hot dogs, Italian Beef + Much More.”
“The logo was done by guy in Murphysboro at Prism Graphics," Weber said. "I know him personally, and he came up with a great logo.
In fact, the logo was so good that customers started asking for T-shirts. Weber answered their request, and shirts are available at the stand or through the business website, flamingfreddys.com.
He said business has been good since reopening. In fact, it’s probably a little better than before the fire.
“We are highly weather dependent. When the weather is good, we do good. When it’s not, we don’t do so good,” Weber said.
The menu features several hot dog variations, The Chicago Dog, The Flamer, Carolina Slaw Dog and Chili Cheese Dog, as well as Italian beef, Italian sausage, Polish sausage and more.
“People like our Italian beef," Weber said. "We sell a lot of it. We almost sell more of it than hot dogs."
Delivery is available for orders of $10 or more from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 618-924-2051.
Flaming Freddy’s will be at Da-Nite Tavern from 6 to 11:55 p.m. Saturday with food available before and during a performance by Dirtwater Fox. They also will be at Rural King for a Halloween event on Oct. 19.
Weber recommends people watch the HauteDawgs Facebook page for the latest information. Information about special events is available on the Facebook page, too.