Red Top Dogs started their food truck in July 2015. In July 2018, they opened a brick and mortar in Shelby Park. The food truck is still active and attends events, as well as private affairs. The restaurant is housed in a historic building on Logan Street; formerly home to the Keswick Democratic Club. It’s located in an area that is rapidly developing, with Logan Street Market soon to open, and Yesternook, Purpose the Store, Falls City Community BikeWorks, Idlewild Butterfly Farm, and more businesses currently booming.
The space is clean and inviting, with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, and chalkboard menus. There’s an option to “Buy a Buddy a Beer,” where you pay for a specific beer, leave a friend’s name, and then when they visit, they can collect. The décor consists of lots of local art, including both murals and artwork.
There’s plenty of space inside and out. You can relax on their sunny patio out front, or in the cute garden area in the back, where you can dine amongst herbs and peppers grown on site by owner Ryan Cohee, for their specialty dogs.
The menu features gourmet-quality hotdogs and handcrafted local game sausages. Each dog is loaded with fresh and unique toppings; you’re going to need a knife and fork! Many of the dogs are inspired by different styles from all over the country, including Hawaii, Detroit, Seattle, and more. One of their most popular dogs is the Louisville, a grass-fed beef hotdog on a pretzel bun with cheddar beer cheese, Flint style Coney sauce, & organic yellow mustard.
Personally, (I’ve got to be honest here) I’m not a fan of hotdogs. But I can throw back a Nirvana from Red Top any day of the week! It’s a grass-fed beef hotdog on a pretzel bun with roasted garlic cream cheese, jalapeños, French fried onions, and jalapeño jam. It’s just so good! Even if you’re not a fan of hotdogs, you’ll find something at Red Top to enjoy. They have vegan options, fries and tots (with loaded options of both), big soft pretzels, charcuterie, wings, desserts, craft beers and sodas, beer slushies, and more!
They also offer weekly specials, including Tube Steak Tuesday – $2 off wild game and veggie sausages; Weenie Wednesday – $2 off dogs, even the flight which includes mini versions of their top four dogs; and Throwback Thursday – $0.75 wings and $1 select beers, because the KDC was known for their fried chicken and beer.
Next door you’ll find Potder’s Ping Pong Emporium. The name comes from spelling Red Top backwards. The ping-pong hall features several tables and all the necessary equipment. Plus, they’ve got arcade games, darts, foosball, and more. It was important to Ryan that Red Top be family friendly, because he’d noticed that most spots that were seemed to be chains; so, when you visit, feel free to bring the entire family.
The next time you’re in Shelby Park, be sure to stop by for a dog! And if you’re feeling generous, throw my name up on the “Buy a Buddy a Beer” chalkboard. (Just kidding! Kind of.)