By JESS MANCINI
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — A local couple hopes to expand their hot dog stand business.
Hot Dog Willy’s has been selling hot dogs for two weeks at Bicentennial Park by the courthouse.
“It’s named after me,” said Will Heflin of Mineral Wells, a 2003 graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school.
Hot Dog Willy’s is ran by Heflin and his wife, Kimberly. Will Heflin is a 2000 graduate of Parkersburg High School.
“We do this together,” said Mrs. Heflin, a native of Charleston where Heflin was with the Capitol Grill.
“This is basically full time,” she said.
The Heflins offer various styles of hot dogs and several specialty hot dogs.
“They were inspired by me,” Heflin said.
Among the specialties is the Diablo Dog, a spicy treatment which includes just a few drops of ghost pepper and aoli.
“They’re really hot,” he said.
The Beach Bum hot dog is made with pineapple and habanero glaze.
The hot dog is marinated and when thrown onto the grill, emits a pleasing aroma, he said.
“The Beach Bum is the most popular,” Mrs. Heflin said.
The Porkinator is a wiener wrapped with bacon. It is also topped with pulled pork, Heflin said.
Also available are the Willy Dog with mustard, sauce, relish and onions and the Everything Dog with ketchup, mustard, sauce, onion, relish, slaw, pepper jack cheese and jalapeno peppers.
Additional menu selections will be added in the next few weeks, including cheese bratwurst.
“We cook them fresh,” Mrs. Heflin said.
Tayler Matthew and Matt Gibbs on Wednesday made their inaugural visit to the stand. They each got a hot dog.
“I’ve heard they’re pretty good,” she said.
They are good, said John Reed, director of the Wood County Solid Waste Authority.
“I like just the hot dog with his homemade sauce,” Reed said. “It’s great hot dog sauce.”
The area is covered with a tent with numerous picnic tables provided through the Solid Waste Authority. It’s a nice shady spot to each lunch and meet friends for pleasant conversation, said Reed, who also is a Parkersburg city councilman.
“We’re glad to have them down here,” he said.
Heflin is expanding the hot dog cart into a bricks and mortar site, too. The couple plans to open a store in Belpre near the old bowling alley on Washington Boulevard, which should be open in two weeks, he said.
Two more carts will be obtained, which will be used in Marietta and for special events, he said.
“We’re real excited,” Heflin said.
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