Mad Dogs Hot Dogs hosted its grand opening at 100 N. Constitution Blvd. in Kutztown on Feb. 18. Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce members helped Mad Dogs celebrate with a ribbon cutting out front of the hot dog shop.

Attendees enjoyed samples of hot dogs that featured movie-themed toppings. Menu items include movie titles such as Napoleon Dynamite, Gone With The Wind, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

“I like toppings and I like spicy food. I had Good Morning Vietnam and I loved it,” said Northeast Berks Chamber Executive Director Lori Donofrio-Galley. “It’s not a basic hot dog. You can have a basic hot dog. They also have vegetarian hot dogs. But I like the toppings.”

Donofrio-Galley said Mad Dogs adds another place in Kutztown to eat.

“As you know, the college community is very interested in eateries and all different types of food. I think for the most part the other eateries specialize in pizza or certain kinds of sandwiches. This is specializing in hot dogs.”

Donofrio-Galley noted that Mad Dogs is also involved in philanthropy and wants to support local non-profits, including Friend.

“We’re pleased to add a new member to the Chamber and will continue to partner with them for the benefit of the community,” said Donofrio-Galley.

Fleetwood residents Karin and Mark Crossley and their daughter Michaela, 18, said Mad Dogs is great.

“Great original flavors, very unique,” said Karin.

“The Rocky dog so far has been really good,” said Mark. “It’s like a cheese steak and hot dog all in one. It’s really good. Hopefully they do well. Totally unique hot dogs.”

“I think it’ll be a good place for the college students to come and hang out and it’s a nice family atmosphere here, too,” said Karin.

“It’s definitely adding to Main Street,” said Michaela.

Owners Melissa Casto and Chris Moyer opened Mad Dogs in January after buying Potts-U Hot Dogs, housed in the same location. The Macungie couple has worked in Kutztown in the past.

“We jumped on it. We thought it was a great opportunity and it’s been a blessing so far,” said Casto during the grand opening event while Moyer prepared hot dog dishes such as the Breakfast At Tiffany’s dog topped with scrambled egg, smashed tater tots, bacon, and American cheese. “Me and Chris, we really enjoy being together and working together. It’s just really been a good opportunity for us.”

They hope to bring to the community another place for locals to eat, offering unique hot dog topping choices.

“Chris is amazing with his uniqueness of the menu. He did an excellent job. Chris has always been very creative with everything he’s done. He’s an excellent chef,” said Casto.

They both have an affinity for movies.

“We’re both big movie buffs,” she said. “We watch a lot of movies in our spare time so we incorporated (movies) into the business. In every movie there’s something to do with a hot dog or an inspiration for the burger of the week or the hot dog of the week.”

Top dogs include the King Kong with two grilled dogs, French fries, cheese sauce, bacon, and chili sauce. Napoleon Dynamite is a grilled dog topped with tater tots, bacon, cheese sauce, and Mad Dog sauce. Rocky is a grilled dog with chopped rib-eye steak, caramelized onion, and wit wiz.

“The Wall Street is the biggest,” said Casto, naming one of the more popular choices.

The Wall Street is a grilled dog topped with homemade chili sauce, spicy brown mustard, and raw onion.

“We’re always about the community,” said Casto who hopes to volunteer at local organizations in the near future.

Mad Dogs held a fundraiser for Friend Inc., Dine to Donate on Feb. 23 and during the grand opening baskets were raffled off to benefit animals at the Sanctuary at Haafsville.

“I love Kutztown. It’s such a local feel. It’s a very good community,” said Casto. “Kutztown has really blessed us. It has such a good hometown feel here. I really like it.”

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