GREENWICH VILLAGE — Hot dog company Snap Dog will be doling out free hot dogs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Washington Square Park on Thursday, at the intersection of Thompson Street and Washington Square South.
Snap Dog is the brainchild of Long Island restaurateur Keith Dorman, who sold his Port Washington eatery Harbor-Q after seven years to pursue his hot dog venture.
"I just noticed that a lot of foods that we grew up with as kids started to make a comeback in a makeover sort of fashion — grilled cheese sandwich, mac and cheese, cupcakes — even the hamburger," Dorman explained. "Everything was getting made-over and updated. And I said to myself, 'Where has the hot dog been?' I felt like we needed to kind of liven up the hot dog category."
He worked as a hot dog vendor at the corner of 55th Street and Broadway to get a feel for the business before launching Snap Dog.
Dorman ensures that Snap Dogs are premium beef by using purveyors who manufacture high-quality corned beef and pastrami. His Hudson Valley-based producers get top rounds shipped to their factories, which must be cooked completely evenly.
In order to ensure that all their cuts of meat are the exact same weight when they start the cooking process, they trim them down very precisely. Snap Dogs are made from the trimming from those quality cuts of meat.
But he doesn't want people to have to pay extra for the quality meat. Each of the 30 Snap Dog carts around Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx is independently owned and operated, so the prices vary, but Dorman believes they should always be reasonable.
"They shouldn't cost any more than a regular hot dog costs," he said. "We want people to enjoy the hot dog; we're not looking to take advantage of anybody."
Snap Dog is giving away free hot dogs every Thursday in different parts of the city all summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.