Slated to open in time for the start of the 2018 academic year, construction will start soon on the 2,900-square foot restaurant that will be located at 5504 Morningside Drive, just down the street from the Rice Village location of Hopdoddy.
“Dat Dog is different. It’s a fresh concept, and we’re very excited to bring a little bit of offbeat New Orleans to Rice University,” said Greg Hamer, CEO of B&G Food Enterprises, the franchisee group that will own and operate the Houston locations, in a statement. “Dat Dog’s vibrant atmosphere, late-night hours and, of course, its hot dogs will no doubt bring additional vibrancy to the campus and introduce students to an entirely new dining experience.”
Known for its diverse array of sausages — everything from a range of traditional pork and beef options to more exotic fare like alligator, crawfish, and duck and even vegan options — and a wealth of toppings — classics like mustard, relish, and onions as well as crawfish etoufee, blackberry sauce, and sriracha mayo — publications like The New York Times and USA Today have touted the restaurant's family-friendly atmosphere and creative combinations as some of the best hot dogs in America.
“Everything that we serve is in the shape of a hot dog, including our burgers, which are rolled from freshly ground beef, and chicken, which is cut into strips and grilled or fried,” added Dat Dog President and COO Bill DiPaola. “At Dat Dog, you can come in and watch the game, drink a local craft beer, play trivia or corn hole. You can hang out and be loose and easy. I believe that our quirky culture and crazy delicious dogs will be welcomed with open arms on campus.”
While DiPaola and Hamer are focused on Dat Dog as a destination for Rice students, the area remains a popular dining destination for all Houstonians. In addition to recent openings like Hopdoddy and SusieCakes, the area will become home to Houston's second location of New York-based burger chain Shake Shack later this year.
Dat Dog has three locations in New Orleans. B&G intends to open up to 25 across the city. That sounds like a lot, but B&G knows something about growing brands. The company operates 100 Yum Brands franchises in Texas and Louisiana (Taco Bell, KFC, etc).