MIDDLETOWN — At the outset of COVID-19, when Rachelle Edwards, a nurse, became concerned she may spread the virus to her family, she walked away from nursing and opened a potato restaurant in the Pendleton Art Center.
That was in April 2020, and now Edwards, 54, has opened another downtown restaurant. Edwards said since the Potato Bar has been successful, she decided to open Mr. Hot Dog recently.
Members of the Downtown Middletown Inc. and Mayor Nicole Condrey attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning that included Edwards and several family members.
Her son, Chris Edwards, manages the Potato Bar while she concentrates on running the hot dog business, she said. Having a restaurant in the Pendleton allows her to operate her catering business to those who rent the second floor, she said.
The name “Mr.” in the hot dog restaurant comes from the first name of her silent partner, Magellan, and her first name, Rachelle.
While the Potato Bar has thrived, Edwards said it doesn’t attract families because some kids don’t like potatoes. In the three weeks since Mr. Hot Dog opened, Edwards has seen many families walk through the door at 1218 Central Ave.
She called hot dogs “fun, friendly food” that bring families together.
Edwards, who has returned to nursing, said she has talked to customers who are thankful to have a hot dog dining option downtown because they miss the Liberty Restaurant that was known for its hot dogs.
The “let’s be frank” menu features chili cheese dogs (No. 1 seller), chili spaghetti, Polish sausages and chili cheese bowls. The feature hot dogs include Chicago (peppers, dill spear, diced onions, tomato slices, sweet relish and mustard), Cowboy (barbecue sauce, baked beans, diced onions and bacon), Molly (mustard, sweet relish, ketchup, barbecue sauce, pulled pork) and Mac Dog (macaroni and cheese, barbecue sauce and shredded cheese).
The restaurant seats about 25 people with outdoor space for eight, she said.
How to go
WHAT: Mr. Hot Dog
WHERE: 1218 Central Ave., Middletown
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Other downtown restaurants
There are several restaurants in downtown Middletown. Here is a partial list:
Triple Moon Coffee Co., 1100 Central Ave.
The Slice, 1300 Central Ave.
N.E.W. Ales Brewing, Steel City Pizza, 1330 Manchester Ave.
Potato Bar, 1105 Central Ave.
Swire Inn, 64 S. Main St.
@ The Square, 1045 Central Ave.
Primo Italian Steakhouse, 6 S. Broad St.
Mz Jade’s, 1131 Central Ave.
West Central Wine, 1120 Central Ave.
Hector’s Taco Shop, 1126 Central Ave.
Brent’s Smokin’ Butts, 1206 Central Ave.
Mr. Hot Dog, 1218 Central Ave.
Merkle’s Tavern, 1224 Central Ave.