A Look Inside the New Doggy Dogg Location

This week, we’re talking with James Hammerl of Doggy Dogg about their newly opened location on E. Howard Ave. in Decatur (across the street from Kimball House).


{writing & photos by Alex Lampert, building artwork by Kyle Brooks}

Doggy Dogg has recently opened its first brick and mortar location after four years of selling gourmet hot dogs via street carts. In that time, they have not only become a staple at our farmers markets, but have grown quite a following, and with good reason. Doggy Dogg sources high-quality, tasty meat and fixings from local companies who know how to do what they do very well.

The Spotted Trotter supplies their meat and a few sauces. Bread comes from nearby Ratio Bakeshop. Simply Seoul makes the kimchi, sauerkraut comes from Lupa’s Kitchen and bread & butter pickle relish comes from Preserving Place. The list goes on to include Phickles Pickles, Candler Park Deli Market, Hope’s Gardens and Red Robot Hot Sauce, and there’s a vegan dog, too.

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As far as the man behind the dogs goes, there are people who work in hospitality, and there are hospitable people. Southern tropes aside, there is something to be said about a person who makes you feel welcome and happy to eat their food. And there’s a story about how his hot dog stand came to be.


James grew up cooking with his family, “grilling and chilling,” with his dad. “When we’re grilling, it didn’t feel like preparing dinner or cooking. It was more like hanging out, an enjoyable experience,” he told me on my visit to the new space. More recently, he took a trip to Germany a few years back, during the winter and was snowed in. Stepping out of Christmas mass in a foreign land, through the fog and snow, he saw a lone sausage cart in a beacon of light. “It seemed like an angel to me.” Wanting to offer more of a variety than just bratwursts, hot dogs and other sausages made sense, “they’re a blank canvas.”


Over the years, they’ve gained a regular following and enough demand to see the potential for opening a shop. Add that to the all-star roster of producers that contribute to the unique flavor combinations, and good timing in the wake of trending new takes on American classics, and that’s where Doggy Dogg finds itself today.

Currently open evenings, 5 to 10pm, opening soon (TBD) for lunch.



Community Farmers Markets