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The Bill Comes Due For Demon Dogs

By vouchey in News on Aug 27, 2004 6:17PM

Demon Dogs Hot Dog StandWe talk about Demon Dogs way too freaking much, but it's such a staple of Lincoln Park that it's a hard habit to break. That being said, Demon Dogs is in the news again, after fourteen years of unpaid bills finally came due when the Illinois Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Peter Schivarelli, owner of Demon Dogs, must pay electricity bills the Chicago Transit Authority was somehow picking up.

How could this have happened? Schivarelli claims that when he signed his $2,500 month lease for the space with the CTA back in 1983, he had a verbal agreement electricity would be free. Not unlikely, considering that at the time, Schivarelli was not only the manager of the band Chicago, but also the full-time Streets and Sanitation Department Ward Superintendent for the 43rd Ward, where Demon Dogs is located.

Back in those days (and still to a lesser degree) "Street and San" Superintendents were like minor fiefdom lords, where control over potholes, tree trimming, and garbage cans (Schivarelli's specialty -- anyone remember the garbage cans labeled "Brought to you by Peter Schivarelli and Demon Dogs"?) was exercised with vigor. So how could the CTA resist the Ward Super wanting some free electricity?

Today Schivarelli isn't the ward super any more, and Demon Dogs is about to be demolished -- and then the electricity bill comes due. Chicago politics at its finest.