A court decision Monday secured the fate of Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry, 116 N. Fairchild St., forcing it to close by Monday, July 16.
Judge David Flanagan gave Dotty’s one more week to be open, but no more.
Madison’s famous burger joint, in operation since 1974, will be torn down in order to make room for the city’s $100 million Overture Project, creating a new arts district.
Owner Jeff Stanley has been fighting the city in court to stay open longer and to receive more compensation for the restaurant.
The city has agreed to pay Stanley $583,680 for the business, the estimated market price.
City officials have also added a $20,000 sum for moving expenses if Dotty’s moves elsewhere and a $50,000 additional sum depending on the price of his new location.
Many supporters, including Dotty’s employees, have shown their appreciation for Stanley and the restaurant, including a line out the door and down the street, greeting Stanley when he returned from court on Monday.
Stanley said he felt as if he was starring in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and a Disney film all at once.
“I started getting big, giant tears in my eyes,” he said.
Stanley planned a last call party Monday and Dotty’s was jammed all day with supporters.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., Stanley rolled back prices to their original 1974 amounts. Cheeseburgers and fries were $2.50 per basket and beers were $1.50.
Stanley plans on keeping these original prices for the next few days.
Even Dotty’s employees who have been vegetarians for years tried one of Stanley’s famous burgers and really enjoyed them.
“It was absolutely amazing,” said vegetarian employee Susan Flickinger.
Stanley hopes to stay open in the campus area, but he is considering possible relocation to Fitchburg, Verona or Milwaukee.