Photo by Kimberly Jauregui
Cleveland hot dog fanatics rejoice: Northeast Ohio native and chef, Jessica Johnson, will soon bring her eclectic hot dog concoctions to Ohio City, with Weenie A Go Go
. We sat down with her to talk all about the new space, menu, and what she hopes customers can expect at the restaurant.
A specific July opening date has not yet been announced, but locals may already be familiar with this lady’s distinctive franks from her popular same-named shop in Mentor that operated from 2013 - 2014.
When Johnson opens her doors next month, expect classics like the Chicago Dog (neon relish, onions, sport peppers, tomatoes, yellow mustard, and a pickle spear) and the Chili Dog (chili, onions, and cheese). For those with a more adventurous pallet, there’s always the Mac and Cheese Dog, Loaded Baked Potato Dog, Pulled Pork Dog, and more
, but her menu isn’t totally finished yet, and she hopes to cook up some new combinations.
“[My hot dogs] are more diner Americana dishes served on top of a hot dog; I’ve already put the dish together,” she told Scene
. Weenie A Go Go will also offer a signature CLEveland Dog, consisting of cheddar cheese, bacon, and roasted red and yellow peppers, as well as an array of milkshakes and coffee drinks. Thoughts of adding booze like beer and wine to her menu are also in the works for Johnson, as she believes everyone loves an ice-cold brew and dog combo.
Johnson plans to open every day at 11 a.m., and stay open late on Friday and Saturdays, hoping to cater to all potential clientele. “I hope that my clientele is all ages. I [think] the hot dog brings everyone together, everyone loves the hot dog. I want people to feel really comfortable here, and feel like they can hang out,” she said. Unlike her 900 sq. ft. shop in Mentor, this space — inside a building built in the late 1800s — is generous in size. She hopes customers will sit and stay a while to eat and listen to live music.
How does this place differ from others of its kind? Good question. The atmosphere, is what Johnson hopes will set this place apart. “I want to create something [where] when someone comes to this neighborhood, [it feels as if] this place has always been here.” Johnson is particularly interested in doing so by assembling a distinctly retro/vintage vibe created through second hand furniture and American signage reminiscent of a mid century diner.
In fact, Johnson will take her passions for hot dogs, oldies music, and vintage goods to a whole new level by combining all three into her very own haven. The restaurant will not only be a place to dine, but secondhand clothing and records will also be available for purchase upstairs
"I think that here on 25th there isn’t much retail. I’d like to give someone extra options when they are down here [so] they can take a piece of history home with them. This used to be a vintage store, and I wanted to keep that going,” she shared with us.
Johnson has been the sole proprietress for the entire duration of Weenie A Go Go: running, cooking, remodeling, and everything in between by herself. “I’ve never had any help, this is my dream, and I’m so excited,” she said.
Be sure to stay tuned for an opening date on their Facebook page
, or peek in the next time you're in Ohio City at 1836 W. 25 St.