The Hottest Dog in Town

Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts is known for its gourmet-style hot dogs and unorthodox toppings. The restaurant and bar is set to open next weekend on Phelps Street.
Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts is known for its gourmet-style hot dogs and unorthodox toppings. The restaurant and bar is set to open next weekend on Phelps Street.

Measuring in at 7,700 square feet, filled with original hardwood floors, marquee-lit signs, classic arcade games and a private loft space and with 26 beers on draft and a fine dining hotdog menu, Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts it is sure to surprise many of the valley’s foodies and bar-goers.

“Suzie’s Double D’s” — as it’s already been nicknamed — has been in the construction phase for the last few months, but is finally ready for Youngstown to walk through its doors next weekend on Phelps Street. Its menu will be a bit different than most restaurants downtown, but will still have some familiar classics.

Bradley Miller, a YSU alum and the head chef at Suzie’s, has been working on a menu that would be different and unique, but still taste delicious paired with the main ingredient — hotdogs.

“The hotdogs are really just the vessel on which everything else [the condiments] comes out on. They’re fun, kind of inventive, creative stuff,” Miller said.

To accompany the menu of gourmet hotdogs, the creative minds of Suzie’s united to put together a delicious cocktail and beer selection. Rahkeem Brown, the bar manager, has tapped into an eclectic array of drink selections that will keep crowds attracted and wanting more.

“We will have our own handmade cocktail list, with plays on traditional cocktails but with a twist,” Brown said.

The restaurant is opening with 26 different beers on draft. By May, Suzie’s own brewery will be open with eight of their house drafts. The beers will compliment the menu, which will also feature two non-alcoholic brews — ginger ale and root beer.

A dominant factor into the makeup of Suzie’s will be the use of non-traditional menu items and interior decor and mixing them with classic favorites to create innovative and delicious creations.

“We’re using some ingredients that aren’t typically used in this area. Still flavorful, still approachable, inviting and not pretentious,” Brown said.

The one-of-a-kind venue will also serve as a welcoming atmosphere to business meetings, college students and weekly family gatherings.

“I can see a father and son coming here and sitting at the bar in front of the kitchen and watching us make the hotdogs,” Miller said.

The upstairs loft inside the building is made to accommodate groups from 25-30 people. It will be available to rent out for private functions and will offer a 50-inch screen for accommodating everything from business presentations or to slide shows during a family gathering.

Being downtown also brings a large afternoon crowd during the business lunch breaks, and Suzie’s is promising the quickest way to get a delicious meal.

“There is no place downtown right now that you can get a cheap, high-quality meal in less than five minutes. That’s important to people that only get 30 minutes for lunch and have to spend most of it waiting,” Brown said.

The student-friendly prices are also a key ingredient to making this the perfect place to fit into a busy schedule.

The regular menu items will range between $4-$6. Suzie’s will also have daily specials, sometimes almost cutting the menu prices in half. The same will go for drink specials, offering a $3-pint night on Wednesdays.

“We want it to be a place for YSU students to make a regular spot. It’ll be really affordable for students to try new and different foods,” Brown said.

Suzie’s is also working on a way to put a bowling lane and bocce court in their basement, and people will be able to play their favorite classic arcade games on the main floor.

“We’re trying to reach everybody — the older generations and the families and of course, at night, the college crowds,” Miller said.

A variety of live music will be offered to please all crowds and a late-night kitchen will keep the fun going — and the hunger at bay — past 2 a.m.

“We really do want everyone to come down and experience it, and I think the menu and the bar items really allow for everyone to enjoy something. There’s plenty of stuff for people to try,” Miller said. “People are going to be blind-sided, I think. It’s going to be scary.”