JEFFERSONVILLE — A new restaurant in the heart of downtown Jeffersonville is providing a creative spin on a classic American comfort food.

That’s My Dog, a hot dog and burger shop, is opening Friday. The fast casual restaurant is at 125 W. Chestnut St. next to Parlour Pizza.

Owner and general manager Thomas Harris aims to offer different to the local dining scene. He wanted a shop where hot dogs were the main focus, and he wanted to offer a place where people can choose from a large variety of toppings for their hot dogs.

“Everybody loves a good dog, but it’s hard to find them,” he said. “A lot of them [boil] them in water, and I don’t know why you want to drown a hot dog like that. We cook ours with a roller grill, and we can top them all. We have a charcoal grill and we can put the lines on them if you want, and we can even deep fry them if you like.”

Customers can choose from a wide selection of signature dogs and burgers, including a beef frank covered with Philly cheese steak toppings and a Chicago-style hot dog. A Jeffersonville High School-inspired option called “The Red Devil” features a sausage with bacon bits, jalapeño and hot honey sauce.

The burgers aren’t served the usual way — the “Hamdogs” are shaped to fit a hot dog bun. There is also a vegan option featuring a plant-based brat in a pretzel bun with mustard and sauerkraut.

“I want to include everybody, so people aren’t like, I don’t want to go there because there’s nothing for me to eat there,” Harris said. “I figured, why not take that extra step and just cater to everybody.”

Customers can choose from a list of 25 toppings and 13 dressings for their hot dogs. The menu also features snacks such as a footlong corn dog, funnel cake fries and mac and cheese.

The restaurant is housed in a historic building near the Big Four Bridge, and it offers indoor seating on two floors, and outdoor seating will be available on both the patio and the deck. The restaurant is pet-friendly, and a section of the patio includes an area for dogs featuring turf and water bowls.

Harris has a long history of working in the service industry — he started in food service right out of high school, and he has worked in management positions at various fast food restaurants. For 20 years, he has wanted to open his own restaurant.

“I never lost my passion for food service, but the only difference is, I’m going to do it my way, and here I am,” he said. “I developed this whole concept, and I was like, man, it’s something that’s not offered.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it felt like the right time to open the restaurant, Harris said.

“I think people are even more hungry now than before, and so I’m really, really excited,” he said. “In under a week since posting the final menu, we had over a thousand likes [on Facebook].”

That’s My Dog offers carryout and curbside options, and there are plenty of outdoor seating options. The restaurant also offers touch screen kiosks for people to order without waiting in line at the counter.

That’s My Dog is partnering with the J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter to collect donations for the shelter.

Harris said he wants the community to enjoy “America’s pastime” as they eat their hot dogs.

“It’s something that brings your childhood back to you and you just remember the good old days,” Harris said. “I want you to enjoy it, like that’s it, that’s my dog.”

That’s My Dog’s hours will be Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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