Don’t tell David Shamblin the only way to eat a hot dog is with mustard. Shamblin’s creation, Hotdog Johnnies, offers 16 unique hot dogs at his recently opened second location in Lewes.
There’s the chili dog with mustard, onions and, of course, chili. There’s the Boston bean, a dog topped with brown sugar baked beans, grilled onions and brown mustard. And don’t forget the mac and cheese dog, which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and topped with creamy mac and cheese.
After opening the first Hotdog Johnnies in Dewey Beach in June 2016 to great success, Shamblin expanded his enterprise to the former Savannah’s Deli and Grille at the Hazzard Auto Repairs gas station on Savannah Road in Lewes.
So far, so good, Shamblin said.
“It’s been all good, positive reviews,” he said.
In addition to the wide selection of all-beef hot dogs – regular and footlong – Hotdog Johnnies also offers fried chicken, deli sandwiches, subs, burgers, salads and more.
Unlike the Dewey location, where Shamblin had to build a facility from the ground up, the Lewes store was already in place with the equipment needed to offer an expanded menu.
The Dewey location is closed for the winter season, but will reopen in the spring. He said he could not have built his business without the help of Dewey Beer Company co-founder Clint Bunting.
“He took my creative vision and added his touch to it,” he said. “It’s a lot different than this store. He did an amazing job.”
Though they are different, there are many similarities. Each shop follows the ketchup and mustard, red and yellow color scheme. They also each put a focus on the hot dogs.
“I did this originally down in North Carolina,” said Shamblin, who’s been in the food industry for nearly 40 years. “An older guy down there taught me about the hot dog business.”
The new Lewes restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the spring and summer, hours will expand to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Though service is fast, customers can call ahead to order. To reach Hotdog Johnnies in Lewes, call 302-645-9041. To learn more about the restaurant, go to www.hotdogjohnniesde.com or search for them on Facebook.