For hot dog lovers, a wurst-case scenario: Underdogs, the subterranean shop on 17th Street near Sansom, closed last week. Owner Robert Amar said business was fine - he simply wanted to do something else after four years.
We won't have to wait too long for a new occupant - perhaps till early May:
It's an upstart called Shoo Fry, whose specialty is build-your-own french fries.
Owner Matt Baiada, who also owns a Cold Stone Creamery location in Delaware County with his wife, Rachel, says customers can choose from classic, curly, and steak fries, which get proteins (cheesesteak, pulled pork, even peanut butter) and other toppings. Shoo Fry also will sell sliders and shakes - a riff on the burger-fries-shakes meal.
Matt Baiada says the idea sprang from a 2012 road trip to Canada. He and his wife sampled poutine varieties, he said, "and we asked ourselves, 'How is this not a thing here?'"
They opened a stand at the King of Prussia Mall in 2013 as a six-month tryout in what he calls "a dark corner of the mall." That worked out, and the couple began developing shops.
The shop at 132 S. 17th St. will keep Underdogs' late-night hours on weekends.
The Baiadas are about to announce a location in Fishtown (with a projected summertime opening), and as Danya Henninger reported for Billy Penn last week, have a deal with a franchisor to take the act on the road.