Hooters Replacement Will Be Dawggin' It
Dr. Dawg, a Chicago-style hot dog restaurant, will replace Hooters, which was a Greenfield mainstay for 15 years at one of the busiest shopping corridors in the Milwaukee area.
Not a fan of chicken wings? Maybe Chicago-style hot dogs are more your style.
With the scantily clad waitresses of Hooters, 7700 W. Layton Ave., now a thing of the past, Dr. Dawg has pounced on the vacant restaurant like a puppy on a new toy.
David Ross, owner of Dr. Dawg, is making plans to open his second restaurant, likely around Jan. 1, 2013, in the vacant Hooters restaurant.
Dr. Dawg is a family-style, fast-casual restaurant concept with a theme based on the Chicago-style hot dog and Italian ‘beef-stand’ genre. The menu, however, isn’t limited to just dogs, dogs and more dogs. Standard comfort food is joined by healthier items that can appeal to health-conscious consumers, such as gluten-free, trans fat-free and many all-natural items.
Ross’s initial restaurant, 6969 N. Port Washington Rd., Glendale, opened in 2010, and he envisions the Greenfield location to become the mini-chain’s flagship restaurant.
“Obviously, it’s a very vibrant area,” Ross said. “It’s been on our radar for awhile. We’ve reached a pretty good level of success in (Glendale). We felt we were ready to find a spot that was ideal for our flagship store. We really want to design and build this as a model of what our stores will be, if we do any more.”
After 15 years, Hooters closed July 22, and with a great location on one of the more popular metro Milwaukee shopping corridors, it’s no surprise Ross acted fast.
“The area’s got an incredible demographic, great population density, and other very good choices for restaurants, but for the most part, there’s not one that offers Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef and char-broiled burgers in the area,” Ross said.
“Time will tell, but I look forward to having a restaurant the area is happy to have. It’s exciting to grow your business and this is a nice, big step for us.”
Two dozen new jobs
Dr. Dawg will employ 25-30 people in a restaurant equipped with large TVs the old Hooters crowd became accustomed to, free Wi-Fi, an improved sound system and a beer and wine selection.
Patrons will also be able to watch chefs prepare hand-cut French fries.
“It should be something a little different in the area,” Ross said. “It’s going to be a fun place that smells and looks and tastes wonderful.”
Ross’ proposal will be heard at the Planning Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. Ross desires to build an outdoor patio on the south side of the building and a drive-thru on the north side. He said because his customer base is largely family oriented, providing them a place to enjoy the weather while they eat is important, as are the conveniences a drive-thru has to offer.
“The idea of simply that type of restaurant moving in is fine,” Community Development Manager Charles Erickson said. “The other changes that he might have in store for the site, he needs to provide a little more detail on those things and we can take a better whack at them at a later date.”
Ross would also install a new roof system and repair, resurface and reseal the parking lot. Other proposed exterior changes to the building include changing all the orange Hooters-themed trim to red, and the grey brick would be painted white.
He said work on the restaurant and parking lot would begin immediately following Common Council approval, which would presumably happen later this month. He said it would take a “solid three months from when we begin” renovations to open the restaurant, meaning the Dr. Dawg debut will likely happen after the holiday shopping season.
The process of adding a patio, pending approval, would wait until after winter, Ross said.