A Hot Dog Themed Restaurant Has Been Barking Up A Storm For 45 Years, And The Neighbors Are Not Complaining!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know how much I love theme restaurants and their power to attract guests.


Well, the Dog House is a great example!


It has consistently served the best hot dogs since 1970.


The Dog House first opened its doors in Durham, and 45 years later, they have 5 locations throughout Durham NC and Hillsborough NC.


All of the restaurants are housed in what appears to be a dog house!



dog house wagger


Breaking Bad even used the Dog House as a filming location.


They say the reason for their hot dogs tasting delicious is “Our Whopping Toppings®!”


All of their toppings are prepared fresh.


The Chili’s made from a passed down family’s recipe; the homemade Baked Beans are slow-cooked to bring out all the flavors of their secret recipe, and the Slaw and Onions are freshly prepared.


Oh and I can’t forget their Brunswick Stew! The stew has the freshest tomatoes, chicken, potatoes, beans, onions, ham and a little bit of a kick.

dog house brusnswick stew

Yes their hot apple turnovers, what’s the best way to end your hot dog entree?


With A TREAT! Hot Apple Turnovers

Delicious fried with a home-made glaze topping that gives it just the right flavor as a dessert or a treat by itself.


hot apple turn over hot dog house


I‘m an ice tea drinker, and I hate it when I get ice tea that doesn’t taste fresh.


Whether you prefer it sweet or not they freshly-brew ice tea several times a day and serve it with nugget ice.


ice tea nuggets


A yummy hot dog, crinkled fries and a fresh cup of ice tea and I’ll even do tricks on command!


hot dog drink and crinkle fries


Let The Barking Dogs Begin!

dog house menu


The Restaurants Revel In The Dog Theme


The above menu with its hot dog variations named after a type of dog easily brings a smile to your face.

The trashcans have a chain and fake hose connection that resemble fire hydrants, a canine favorite.

In a photo, located in the service window a “Closed” sign is taped another sign stating “Our dogs have all gone to bed, see you tomorrow.” LOL!


hot dog house sitting


The Dog House restaurant offers a combination of service usually not seen together.  There is a drive-up window in the tradition of fast food but unlike those chains, one cannot walk into a Dog House.


The interior consists of 4′ x 12′ of floor space, crowded with 3 or 4 ladies taking orders and making food.


The other service option is a small sliding window, where takeaway orders are placed.


Most Dog House locations are not in a “downtown” area or walkable community.

You’re faced with a stay in your car and use the drive through window, or park the car to walk to the side window to place a take-out order?


Customer’s say-


On top of being one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen to house hot dogs, the fun continues with the menu names. The names are vast and humorous, making the decision process difficult, but I endured!


While I prefer beef dogs to the pork dogs they serve here, the Ol’ Yellow was fantastic, and I wish I’d gotten a second one.


I personally like The Dog House because it represents what my mind is drawn to in just about any tangible object or experience; a connection to the past. 

The (mostly) women who work at The Dog House locations I frequent have worked there forever, they know me and smile when they see me.  Making hot dogs in aprons and hair nets is something I know I am not going to see at a Starbucks or TGIFriday’s. 

And, when they pack my order in a white paper bag and hand it out the window, they always implore me to come back and see them real soon.

Why is this Dog House so Sturdy and Successful?


The Dog House is a successful restaurant because it has the THREE Core Components in place a Fast-Food Concept, A Fun Cool Theme, and a Simple Creative Menu. It perfectly delivers on all three components.


If this post energizes you to take a leap over into the restaurant business, I’m on the other side of the fence, and you won’t lose your way if you follow my blog.