This place is like a modernized version of New York’s storied CBGB club.
There’s always rock and roll in the air at Bay Shore’s Rock City Dogs, with playlists that are a combination of familiar hits and deep cuts — all curated by owner and lifelong rocker Stevie Reno.
The guy knows rock and roll from the inside and out, having toured internationally with bands, even opening for rock legends The Ramones.
So does his partner in Rock City Dogs, Stephen Bennett.
“That’s the foundation of all this,” Reno said of the duo’s intimate knowledge of music.
The food and cocktails are fire, too.
“We want this place to be a cultural hub for music, free expression, creativity,” says Reno’s wife and business partner, Vina Vollmer, who’s almost always on-premises with her husband.
Music lovers especially will eat this place up, starting with the exterior, fashioned after an urban concert hall.
Then there’s the David Bowie mural, the menus that look like album covers, the Cream and Circus magazines —and the Rock City Dogs sign in bulb lights.
Reno dreamed up Rock City Dogs while perusing a coffee table book about the greatest album covers of all time, a gift from his wife.
While reading, a television show droned in the background about the best hot dogs in America.
“I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we served hot dogs and played classic rock?” he said.
And slam drinks, of course; we’re here to rock after all.
The signature cocktail menu consists of Rock City spins on the classics.
Take the Comfortably Numb (a Pink Floyd song, to the uninitiated): Maker‘s Mark, blueberry, agave, Angostura bitters, lemonade. Or the Highway Star (Deep Purple): Empress gin, St Germain, lime juice, Chambord, Prosecco.
The hot dogs, which the menu deems The Headliners, are gourmet and sourced from top vendors Reno and his team traveled the tristate area to find, but there’s also burgers, wings, mac and cheese and more.
Our simple pick if you’re looking to save room for cocktails is The Thin Lizzy (dog, house-kraut, mustard).
if you go
Rock City Dogs opened in late May, 2021 for a soft opening this past summer. It’s located at 3 East Main Street, at the corner of 4th Avenue (which turns into Maple after it crosses Main Street). Happy Hour runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch is available on weekend days. Follow Rock City Dogs on Instagram or Facebook for more pics and updates on special nights in the works.
photos by Satin Widrow