Hot Dog Box father-daughter duo plan to open Portage Park location on Jan. 15, featuring gourmet filet mignon steak dog
by BRIAN NADIG
The father-daughter team that operates the Hot Dog Box, also known as the “home of the steak dog,” plans to open their new Six Corners location at 4020 N. Milwaukee Ave. on Saturday, Jan. 15.
Owner Bobby Morelli said that the other location, which is a 400-square-foot shipping container outdoors at the Boxville marketplace in Bronzeville, is closed for the season but is expected to reopen this spring. It debuted in August of 2020 and quickly became famous for its filet mignon hot dog with its gourmet toppings and for 10-year-old daughter Brooklyn, also known as the “Boss Lady,” greeting customers and taking orders on weekends and during summer break.
Morelli said that with the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, his website design business lost customers and upcoming tour dates for his music career, which includes the release of several albums, had to be put on hold. He then turned to the Boxville marketplace where many Black entrepreneurs were launching their new businesses, and he said that his creative marketing background gave him the idea for the Hot Dog Box.
“We’ve had customers from all around the country … even international customers,” Morelli said. “They love the (culinary) experience, (and) Brooklyn and I are all about serving the most … gourmet hot dog.”
The Bronzville Bourbon is described as a “juicy, buttery and flavorful 4 oz. filet mignon steak dog nestled within a soft freshly baked gourmet pretzel bun, topped with our secret bourbon sauce, fresh cabbage and carrot medley and hickory smoked bacon.” It’s listed at $14.75.
The new 2,000-square-foot location on Milwaukee will be offering the Portage House, which will feature a root beer steak sauce, sautéed onions and mushrooms. The name of that hot dog pays tribute to the community that is home to the new restaurant, Morelli said.
The menu also will include a traditional “Good Ol’ Frank” hot dog, listed at $3.75, and 6-year-old daughter Bailey’s special homemade recipe brownies, including fudge and vegan versions.
Morelli said that area developers invited him to look at possible locations in the Portage Park area and that he quickly fell in love with the community, which he said in turn has been very supportive. “We always were looking for a more traditional brick and mortar space,” he said.
Customers may hear some of Morelli’s music and videos while dining there. He described his music as “soulful, pop and inspirational.”
The Six Corners Chamber of Commerce is helping to organize a ribbon-cutting ceremony for opening weekend.
More information is available at https://ordernow.thehotdogbox.com