Attention citizens of Troy, New York: Hot Dog Charlie’s is coming back!
If you are from anywhere in the Capital Region, you have at some point in time eaten one, or maybe ten, mini hot dogs from Hot Dog Charlie’s. Their mini dogs topped with their signature special chili meat sauce is a killer combo leading you to not give a damn about calories or how sloppy you look consuming them.
The first Hot Dog Charlie’s was built on Second Avenue in Troy in 1922. They were famous for serving mini hot dogs along the length of the original owner’s hairy arm. Then coating them with mustard, onions, and their chili meat sauce, (which is a top-secret recipe).
If you couldn’t tell, this was before health codes were put in place.
Hot Dog Charlie’s was popular, to say the least, and they later opened up shops in Cohoes, Latham, Clifton Park and Rensselaer.
For generations, it was a staple in Lansingburgh, but a fire whirled through the building in 2009. The restaurant never reopened, and to this day we feel like shedding a tear when we drive past the vacant building, which still says Hot Dog Charlie’s in old-fashioned print above the door.
But there’s no reason to be sad anymore because Hot Dog Charlie’s is finally coming back to its homeland. The chain’s president, third-generation owner Chuck Fentekes, said they’re bringing the chain back to Troy, which makes it the fifth restaurant in the Capital Region.
Ah, the aroma of hot dogs will soon fill the streets of ‘Burgh once again!
The only difference is that the new restaurant will be in a different building. Right now, Fentekes is leasing a building on the corner 112th Street and Fifth Avenue, with plans to open in March. A mere 5 years before the chain will celebrate its 100th anniversary.