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David Lissner
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Doggone big deals for Cubs and White Sox openers

The Big Hot Dog.

Buy a Godzilla-sized hot dog during April and benefit Japanese earthquake relief efforts.

Hot dog! It’s baseball season.

Chicago home openers start with the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday, April 1, and the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Thursday, April 7, and a lot of celebrating at local bars and restaurants.

Since hot dogs and baseball go together like a bat and a glove, some local spots are offering opening-day wiener deals:

  • From 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, South Water Kitchen in the Loop offers each visitor a free sausage from the “Downtown Dogs” section of its new Tavern Menu. The five specialty dogs, made in-house, usually run $8. Choose from the bayou dog (alligator andouille with remoulade), deep sea dog (tuna sausage with tarragon slaw), wild dog (wild boar bratwurst with sauerkraut), veggie dog (portabella mushrooms and caramelized onions) and an all-beef Chicago dog, all with a side of Kettle Chips. Game highlights will be on the screens in the lounge and “Hair of the Dog” drink specials, include $3 pints, $6 glasses of wine and a local libation special made with Midwest spirits.

  • On both opening days, Johnny Rockets will serve Chicago-style hot dogs for just $1 (regularly $2.49) at its locations on State Street and LaSalle Street and in Bolingbrook and Naperville. No limit per person, so fill up!

For your home cookouts during the start of baseball season, you can live large with the Big Hot Dog, a 16-long, 4-inch-diameter, 7-pound wiener. Throughout April, this locally made dogzilla, which normally retails for $89.95, will be on sale for $69.95, and $10 from each sale will be donated to the Red Cross for Japanese relief efforts.