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Sonora’s newest restaurant, Dairy Dog, opened its doors last week and owner/operator Chris Smith said he sold the first hot dog at 10:45 a.m.
The hot dog and ice cream stand is on East Western Avenue in the former Hardin Pharmacy building next to The Cecilian Bank.
Smith and his fiancee, Lisa Price, recently moved to Sonora and wanted to get to know their new neighbors and help the local economy.
“That’s what sparked the idea,” Smith said, “And we’re following that dream.”
Smith once ran a restaurant in Ohio, where he lived for several years.
Monday morning found Smith trying to finish up small details before officially opening. He was writing prices on the menu board as helper Aleah Devore inflated balloons to hang on the exterior. Price was at her public job and could not be there for the official opening.
“We had a pretty good lunch rush and we’ve been selling shakes like mad. I’m loving that,” Smith said Monday afternoon.
The couple started several months ago looking for a place to open the business and looked at a couple of vacant buildings in town before settling on the old drug store.
Smith said the couple have been remodeling the building’s interior since the second week of April with a goal of being open before Memorial Day weekend. The couple and friends spent their evenings and weekends building walls, painting and preparing kitchen space.
Smith said “we’re much more than just ordinary” referring to the different styles of dogs available and several flavors of hand-dipped milkshakes on the menu. “Right now, it’s not by choice, but we are carry-out only,” he said as he continues to work on restroom facilities.
Smith said business was better than anticipated Monday and he was planning on going shopping for more supplies after business hours.
The restaurant joins Brooks’ Cafe and the Bucksnort Cafe as one of three dining facilities in the downtown Sonora district.
Dairy Dog is open Monday through Saturday with regular business hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.