Is there any more American food item than the hot dog? The folks behind The Doghouzz are banking on this country’s love affair with this iconic food.
The Doghouzz will be Memphis’ only hot dog restaurant and bar. At 1349 Autumn in the Crosstown neighborhood, the 4,400-square-foot restaurant that includes an outdoor patio is slated to open in early June.
The idea for the establishment is the brainchild of partners Steve Murphy, Robert Taylor, Nico Zorbino and Ray Rico.
According to Rico, The Doghouzz will serve a menu that features gourmet hot dogs, a variety of local craft and domestic beers and one of the largest whiskey selections around.
“One day, we said to each other, ‘How does Memphis not have a gourmet hot dog shop?’ ” Rico said. The partners started looking at similar concepts in cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans and Chicago, and they came to the conclusion that it would do well in Memphis.
Zorbino will be in charge of the kitchen. Zorbino currently works for MemPops, where he helps develop its new flavors. According to MemPops owner Chris Taylor, his creativity has earned him the moniker “The Pop Master.”
When asked about what to expect on the hot dog menu, Zorbino said, “We will have a range of pickles stemming from cucumbers to peaches and shiitake mushrooms and will serve vegan options for hot dogs made from carrots.”
In addition to hot dogs, the menu will include other fare.
Rico said the top-shelf bar will include “one of the largest whiskey selections in Memphis.”
The building, which has been empty for a long time, was bought by Robert Taylor several years ago. As Crosstown Concourse was developed and renovated, the partners strategized over what concept to place in the building.
“We have completely renovated the building. We literally had to gut it,” Rico said. “We did try to keep elements like the original brick work when we could.”
The Doghouzz also plans to showcase local diverse entertainment acts, including weekly Saturday night dance parties with DJ Record Player, a renowned Memphis-based DJ.
Operating hours will be 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Monday through Saturday. It will be closed Sunday. The Doghouzz will offer daily lunch and a limited late-night bar menu.
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.