(Photo by Jessica Maurer)
Just under a year after opening their first Wilmington location, Sam’s Hot Dog Stand owners Tom Hissam and wife Mary Jo Piepenbrink will open a second location at the former downtown Trolley Stop space at 121 N. Front St.
Piepenbrink said the couple was in the process of seeking out a second area location when she was approached by building owner Carlton Fisher who informed her of the availability of the space.
Piepenbrink said the opportunity for a presence in downtown Wilmington, combined with the nearly turnkey state of the restaurant, made it an easy decision.
“At our Oleander store we are still seeing eight to 15 new customers each day, which is really fantastic after nearly a year in business. The new downtown location will allow more people to try our hot dogs and hopefully will grow both businesses,” she said.
Sam’s menu features all-beef hot dogs, veggie dogs, a barbecue sandwich, chips and drinks, which include soft drinks, old-fashioned milk shakes, wine and beer. Two kinds of chili, mild and spicy, are prepared daily and served as chili bowls or on top of the hot dogs.
A hot dog “straight-up” includes mustard, onions and mild or spicy chili for $2.25. Add-ons such as coleslaw, relish and ketchup are included.
Piepenbrink said she can’t help but notice a trend in hot dogs these days: Hot dogs are being served with all types of nontraditional condiments and toppings. While that is great, she said, Sam’s focus is on the authentic Americana hot dog.
“We do have some fun now and then with creations such as Jeremy’s Atomic Dog, a special created by one of our employees, which includes spicy chili, onions, mustard, jalapenos, Texas Pete, black pepper and white cheddar.”
The downtown location will feature 60 indoor seats as well as a large deck with outdoor seating overlooking the Cape Fear River. A mid-January opening is expected.
Sam’s Hot Dog Stand is open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Arboretum Center at 5917 Oleander Drive.
The new location will be open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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