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What Up, Dogg?

Dogg Haus offers affordable Water Street eats

Zack Katz

LET’S BE FRANK. Milwaukee import Dogg Haus offers Chicago-style hot dogs, like this one traditionally dressed with yellow mustard, onions, relish, tomatoes, peppers, a kosher pickle spear, topped with a dash of celery salt.
LET’S BE FRANK. Milwaukee import Dogg Haus offers Chicago-style hot dogs, like this one traditionally dressed with yellow mustard, onions, relish, tomatoes, peppers, a kosher pickle spear, topped with a dash of celery salt.

Off-handed humor and building curiosity surround the supposedly “cursed” 416 Water St. space, in which three businesses have come and subsequently wandered away in the previous four years alone – each time leaving community members to speculate about the next business to pop up in the wake of its short-lived predecessors.

The former site of Splash Wine Bistro (and before that Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese) did not remain empty for long, as the emblazoned red and yellow logo of The Dogg Haus promptly stood up in its place. Two weeks after the renovation began, the owners of the hot dog joint opened their doors in time for Homecoming celebrations the first weekend of October.

“Our food is hot and affordable, and after a night of drinking, it sure beats the hell out of a cold sub.” – Mazen Muna, founder of The Dogg Haus

In defiance of any superficial allegations comes CEO of the Chicago-style eatery, Mazen Muna. Having graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2002, Muna said he loves Ramen Noodles for a reason, and hasn’t forgotten the importance of accessibility and low cost in a college environment.

“Our food is hot and affordable, and after a night of drinking, it sure beats the hell out of a cold sub,” Muna said. “People have said at our Marquette location if they lose their friends while out on the town, they know they can be found at The Dogg Haus at the end of the night.”

If it’s any indication of how his seventh franchise might fare, Muna’s munchies have been voted Milwaukee’s best hot dog for nine consecutive years since the Brew City staple’s opening in 2005. He’s set on using “fresh and naturally heated” ingredients in place of anything canned or microwaved.

Beyond the menu’s draw, he said the lively atmosphere and the staff alongside franchise manager Dave Brandner will produce return customers. “In comparison to what’s currently available on Water Street, this is a fresh concept for the area that I think students will really latch on to,” Muna said. “Our employees are encouraged to be themselves, they’re not micromanaged.”

Although Muna strives to adjust his business to the needs of the college campus, he said hot dogs offered at The Dogg Haus certainly aren’t special interest items limited to students. “No matter what time it is, we’re confident enough to serve people in suits, doctors, lawyers during the day,” Muna said. “At the same time, we keep that quality consistent when it comes to the night life.”

Muna said with the draw of his dogs, picky choosers are the least of his concern. Though he and Brandner come from the fast-paced Milwaukee bustle, they’re ready to join the scaled-down Water Street habitat and slow the 416 curse’s roll.

The Dogg Haus • 416 Water St., Eau Claire • (715) 514-2778

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