The hot dog and rock n’ roll destination Rock City Dogs should be opening this March in the newly renovated 1 East Main Street building in Bay Shore.
Owner and lifelong rocker Stevie Reno said that after two years of planning and work on the project, he is jacked to introduce this frankfurter joint to the downtown, and the rest of Long Island.
The former dentist’s office has been completely transformed into a 1970s classic rock and craft hot dog mecca, he told GreaterBayShore.
The idea for the restaurant came to Reno while perusing a coffee table book about the all-time greatest album covers that his wife and now business partner, Vina Vollmer, had given him.
While he was reading, in the background at his house played a television show about the best hot dogs in America.
And just like that, Rock City Dogs was born in his head.
Then his friends rallied.
The team backing Reno includes Vollmer, his long-time pal and bandmate Stephen Bennett, and Jonathan Contes, a co-owner and co-chef from eatMOSAIC in St. James. Tom McGiveron is another junior partner involved in the restaurant.
Reno didn’t want to reveal too much before the big opening, but did say there’s guitar-themed décor throughout Rock City’s dining room and bar area.
He also made note of one eye-catcher: a massive, lit-up Rock City Dogs sign beaming above the bar.
He’s calling the main dining room The Stage.
The big idea is that dining at Rock City Dogs is meant to feel like a “show,” he said, with the patrons being the main event.
“It’s their stage, our customers,” Reno said. “It’s not ours, it’s theirs.”
The dining area will hold 42 seats. The bar will sit 13 with room for standing, along with four tables, give or take, outside.
Keeping with the rock and roll theme, appetizers will be called Opening Acts, entrees will be called Headliners, and desserts will be, of course, Encores. The kid’s menu will be called Kids Rock.
Photo: Stephen Bennett (left) and Stevie Reno (right) rocking out back back in the day, though the picture is undated.
There’s also going to be a “Dog Dash” takeout window facing the street — just ring the doorbell and a dog-dasher will be there to serve you.
The interior is being designed by Dallago Associates, which also worked on Whiskey Down Diner in Farmingdale.
As for the menu, look for 10 kinds of craft hot dogs inspired by rock bands, such as the signature Rock City Dog.
But it’s not just dogs.
There will be burgers made from custom beef blend patties, as well as salads and wings, rock-inspired cocktails and plenty of beer.
Vollmer and Bennett believe Rock City Dogs will be a place people want to go for fun and to enjoy American staples by way of food and music.
Especially the hot dogs.
“People love hot dogs, it’s a classic food,” Vollmer said.
“Betty White has a hot dog every day!”
Follow GreaterBayShore for updates as the grand opening approaches.
Top: Rock City Dogs logo on the exterior of the building.