TWO brothers have pitched in to set up a restaurant based around their love of beer and hot dogs.
The Crafty Hot Dog Company opened at 72 Albert Road, Southsea, earlier this month.
And the brothers say they have been bowled over by the reaction from customers.
Mike and Stuart Hiles, who were born in Hilsea and are former City Boys students, say they couldn’t be happier and that business is booming.
Mike, 31, from Southsea, said: ‘The Saturday we opened it was crazy. We were busy from the time we opened at midday until we closed at 10pm.
‘The whole time there was a queue out the door, it was absolutely mad.
‘We had to stop serving food at about 8.30pm because we’d run out of food – so far it’s been quite a success.’
The premises was formerly the Fifth Hants Eating House, which was owned by the pub next door but never opened, and prior to that was the Proper Pompey Kitchen.
The new business venture has also created three jobs – a chef and two front-of-house.
Mike, has more than 10 years’ hospitality experience, and has previously at the Farmhouse pub, in Burrfields Road, Copnor and The Seagull in Portchester.
Mike will be the restaurant manager but he’s been in the kitchen while they wait for the new chef to start.
His brother Stuart, 33, a dad-of-two from Paulsgrove, will also be involved in the business working front of house, however he will continue to work on off-shore oil rigs.
The concept of the restaurant, which comes from when they saw a restaurant called Bubbledogs in London, is unique to the area.
While Bubbledogs serves hot dogs and champagne, Mike and Stuart decided to serve craft beers as they felt that would suit Portsmouth better.
They use local suppliers – Buckwells of Southsea – for their meat and they plan to expand their menu over the coming months.
Mike said: ‘We will continue to develop our menu and we are hoping to expand by doing pop-ups at festivals and markets.
‘All in all it’s been quite a success so far.’
They also plan to introduce live music to fit in with the vibrant Albert Road scene.
For more search The Crafty Hotdog Company on Facebook or call (023) 9243 9371.