Hillbilly Hot Dogs Serves Unique Weenies | Restoration guide
LESAGE – On its 22nd anniversary, one of West Virginia’s craziest restaurants is still thriving.
In September 1999, Sonny Knight returned to his hometown of Lesage with his wife, Sharie. Originally opened in a modest 12×16 building, Hillbilly Hot Dogs would expand to include two refurbished school buses, a huge collection of kitschy memorabilia, and even a wedding chapel. The restaurant would receive national attention when it appeared in a 2007 episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-In and Dives”. Although hours have been reduced due to COVID-19, Hillbilly Hot Dogs continue to serve some of Mountain State’s most unique sausages with a healthy dose of home charm.
“We decided to open this place when Sonnie moved to West Virginia so we could work together and not have to go to separate jobs. When we opened we had the kitchen – that was it. But over the years we have continued to grow and add to the decor. Sonny has continued to add to the collections of things outdoors, ”said co-owner Sharie Knight.
Over the years, the restaurant has added several new elements. According to Vance Swallow, general manager and son of the Knights, there has been pressure for healthier options.
“My wife is vegan, it’s pretty funny,” Swallow said. “So we’ve added a number of vegetarian options, which is great because we have a lot of customers who want to eat healthier or can go vegetarian. We have a Don’t Have a Cow veggie burger and a Portabello dog. We also serve beer now. We have a ton of different IPAs and local beers. We try to support local industries as much as possible. We also have a newer dog called Ala Cheesy Beefy Weenie which is becoming our best seller. “
Ala Cheesy Beefy Weenie ($ 3.89) comes with American cheese, nacho cheese, bacon, fried macaroni wedges, chili sauce, and grated cheese. There’s also a Mothman Dog ($ 3.59) topped with chili, Thousand Island dressing, onion rings, and tomatoes. For traditionalists, there’s the West Virginia Hound topped with chili, mustard, onions, and coleslaw. You can also enjoy burgers like the half-pound Big Bad Bubba Burger ($ 8.25), sandwiches like Pistol Pete’s Chicken Parm ($ 3.99), and a taco salad ($ 5.95 ).
“We have our own bottled water now. It’s bottled locally in Lesage at the Green Acres regional center just up the road, ”said Sharie Knight. “They have one of the best waters in the world; it won some praise. They came to tell us that their employees could make labels for us. Most of the places you try to get water require you to buy water paddles and paddles. We don’t have a lot of storage space. So they were able to make smaller quantities for us, and he’s a great seller. “
Perhaps most surprising is the addition of a wedding chapel by the restaurant.
“I am licensed to do weddings in the state of West Virginia. This Saturday we had our 178th wedding. We do weddings and renewals. It’s very affordable – we can do a wedding for $ 50 and $ 25 for a vow renewal, ”said Sharie Knight. “Our chapel is not a particularly large building. I like to say we can accommodate 26 skinnies. It has been wonderful and I love it.
Hillbilly Hot Dogs is located at 6951 Ohio River Road. It is currently open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Plans are underway to extend the hours later this year. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. To place an order or more information, call 304-762-2458. You follow them online on https://www.facebook.com/hillbillyhotdogs.