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Downtown Hot Dog Stand Opens Restaurant

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From hot dog stand to brick-and-mortar location, Good Dogs owners Michael Floyd, 23, and Tyrone Norman, 42, live the American dream at 8166 14th Ave.

“It was of course a dream,” Norman said. “The thought was there, but could it happen? We stumbled on it by pure faith.”

Good Dogs, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., celebrated their grand opening on June 11.

They join a community of hot dog restaurants in Sacramento, which include Capitol Dawgs, The Weinery, Weiner Works and Top Dog.

Norman said their hot dog stand can draw a crowd of around 100 people at peak late night hours. Customer favorites include polish, chili, atomic and bacon cheddar jalapeño (BCJ) dogs.

The atomic dog, a spicy beef and pork hot dog on white bun, is one of Norman’s favorites, he said.

“A lot of heat, a lot of flavor,” Norman said. “It’s a cross between a hotlink and a polish….If you’re extra hungry, that’s the one to get. It’s our biggest dog, a third of a pound.”

According to Norman, the configuration of the hot dog stand prohibited them from frying. The brick-and-mortar location inspired them to expand their menu to fried items such as asparagus and bacon wraps in addition to hot dogs.

They serve five different types of French fries: celery salt, garlic, picante, Cajun, malt vinegar and extra crispy.

They also carry sandwiches like Jive Turkey, Ham Chunk and NY Roast.

Floyd and Norman said starting a restaurant happened by accident.

Originally they were looking for a commercial space to prepare food for their hot dog stand business so they wouldn’t have to use their home.

Norman was shown the 14th Avenue restaurant.

Floyd said everything needed to be cleaned up. The only fixture intact was the refrigerator, so it was like working with a shell. Despite the condition of the restaurant, Norman said he was convinced the place had potential.

“I basically just spotted things out and got the enthusiasm going,” Norman said.

Floyd said they worked around the clock to repair the restaurant.

“People didn’t see it,” Floyd said. “They were like, ‘You guys are going to start doing business in two months there is no way, no one does that.’ Here we are. It’s still work in progress, but we’re both highly motivated.”

Floyd graduated from Sacramento State in 2010 with a degree in business. He said owning a restaurant is new to both of them. He handles the business side while Norman handles the cooking side.

“It’s still very modest, but we are trying to make it happen,” Floyd said referring to the restaurant’s bare white walls. They plan to decorate in the ensuing weeks.

Floyd continues to serve hot dogs to hungry night crowds Thursday through Saturday from 10  p.m. to 2  a.m. on 10th and K streets. 

In two to five years, Floyd said he sees the Good Dogs restaurant in a bustling town with a good flow of people such as downtown Sacramento, Davis or San Francisco.

Norman said he hopes to open another restaurant five years from now.  However, he is content with what Good Dogs has achieved thus far.

"I’m living the dream right now,” Norman said. “I’m getting out what I’m putting in for the most part, and I’m happy.”


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