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Thursday, June 11,2009

Hamburgers out, hot dogs in

Weiner joint opens in downtown Lansing

by James Andersen
For Audrey Orr, there’s nothing you can’t do with a hot dog.

“There’s just a lot of things of things you can do with hot dogs. You don’t realize it till you get into it,” she said.

A love of hot dogs inspired Orr to open Downtown Dog House in downtown Lansing at 107 Allegan St. — where a Famous Taco once was — a restaurant featuring specialty hot dogs from cities from across the nation.

“It’s something different and everybody likes hot dogs. I mean, kids on up, even older people. It’s something different, unique,” Orr said. “I’d rather have a hot dog than a hamburger. Hamburgers are kind of a thing of the past.”

Downtown Dog House opened its doors on May 22, and has been seeing a steady flow of customers during lunch hours. Orr says one of the more popular items on the menu is the Chicago Dog, the restaurant’s version of a Chicago-style hot dog.

“This place was packed today. It’s been like that every day,” Orr said last Friday.

The restaurant’s menu offers 16 different dogs, with each being a regional specialty. In addition to local favorites like the Detroit Dog and the Flint Dog, there are the hot dogs of choice from cities like Boston, Atlanta and New Orleans. Other items on the menu include panini sandwiches, chili, sandwiches, salads and “fully loaded potatoes.” Desserts will eventually be added, too.

Orr said business so far has been “great” and that the restaurant will soon add TVs and a bar. She hopes this will enable Downtown Dog House to expand its business to open for dinner as well as lunch. Right now, the restaurant’s prime hours of business are from 11-2 p.m.

“We just want to make it a fun place for people to come, sit back and relax and enjoy,” she said.

Downtown Dog House will also create themed areas in the restaurant. One area will take on a Michigan State University green and white theme. Another wall will allow customers to come in and put up pictures of their dogs — pets, that is.

With increasing business and enthusiastic customers, Orr hopes that her restaurant will continue thriving and also help to promote business for other shops in downtown Lansing.

Everybody’s been wonderful and done what they can to support us and helped us get what we need to get things done,” she said.

For more information on Downtown Dog House call 517-316-2312.

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