Openings

The Original Hot Dog Factory Comes to Miami

The Original Hot Dog Factory is expanding to Miami.
The Original Hot Dog Factory is expanding to Miami. Photo courtesy of the Original Hot Dog Factory
The hot dog restaurant known for its cameos on Bravo TV's Real Housewives of Atlanta has made its way to Miami.

On July 11, the Original Hot Dog Factory will open its first Florida location just in time to celebrate National Hot Dog Month.

The Original Hot Dog Factory opened its first restaurant in 2010 and has since become a household name in Atlanta, thanks in no small part to the national exposure provided by the Real Housewives franchise. That, in turn, was due to entrepreneur Dennis McKinley, who for a time was engaged to one of the show's stars and who saw promise in a restaurant that catered to the hot dog-loving masses.

In 2015, McKinley purchased and rebranded the Smyrna-based brand, imbuing it with a family-friendly atmosphere and expanding the menu to feature the nation's favorite hot dog styles on a single menu.

Born and raised in Detroit, McKinley says of all the foods his city is known for — Detroit-style pizza and double-baked rye bread, to name a few — the Coney hot dog reigns supreme.

"On every corner, you can find yourself a Coney dog: a beef hot dog with chili, onion, and mustard," McKinley tells New Times. "But after I graduated college and began traveling, I noticed whatever city I went to — be it Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York — there was a hot dog unique to that place. I thought if I could put all these dogs under one roof, that would be amazing."
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The Original Hot Dog Factory offers the most famous hot dogs from around the country.
Photo courtesy of The Original Hot Dog Factory
When he bought the restaurant, only four hot dogs were on the menu, notes McKinley, who previously operated a Little Caesars and a Subway as a franchisee before launching his own franchise.

What was once a simple offering of a classic Detroit Coney, a bacon-wrapped dog, and a footlong has expanded to include nearly 30 options.

The Original Hot Dog Factory's menu has branched out from its specialty dogs, adding hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, corn dog "nuggets," sides like fries and onion rings, and milkshakes.

The hot dog list includes dozens of toppings and dogs that range from chicken and veggie to German, Italian, and Polish sausage.

Popular menu items across locations include the traditional Chicago (tomatoes, pickle spear, sport peppers, sweet relish, onions, mustard, celery salt, and a poppy seed bun), the Detroit Coney (served here with the addition of shredded cheese), the All-American (relish, onion, mustard, and ketchup), and the Carolina Slaw (topped with chili and coleslaw).

As the franchise expands to new cities, the menu morphs to reflect the region, offering hot dogs that pay homage to the tastes and culture of the surrounding area. Miamians will see a "Cuban Dog," a traditional beef hot dog topped with requisite chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and the restaurant's own "Try Me" sauce spiked with Dijon-style mustard.

McKinley says he's searching for additional Miami locations, including one in Wynwood, and scouting spaces further north in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The Original Hot Dog Factory. 8583 NW 186th St., Miami; 305-318-1989; theoriginalhotdogfactory.com. Daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna