The beloved hot dog eatery – which serves up Caspers Franks, a longtime staple of the East Bay Area – left Manteca earlier this year for the Sherwood Mall in Stockton after failing to reach an agreement with the landlord for the “ice cream cone” building on North Main Street that has housed the location for decades – will welcome back their customers to a new location at 1134 N. Main Street near Mountain Mike’s Pizza for a special Grand Opening weekend on Oct. 9 and 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The outpouring of support on social media since the owners announced that they would be returning to take over a recently shuttered frozen yogurt location owned by friends has been overwhelming for Patricia Cortez.
“I’m nervous – I’m nervous because I’m looking at the response and I’m overwhelmed,” said Cortez, who recently lost her father, Raul Hernandez – a driving force behind the business. “We’re doing everything that we can to meet everybody’s expectations.”
While Cortez and her family expanded the menu upon moving into the Sherwood Mall earlier this year, the menu that will be offered during their second stint in Manteca will be more inline with what customers remember from the business’ long run in the community – hot dogs, chips, nachos, Frito boats, and delicious drinks.
While the Stockton location afforded them a kitchen outfitted with a fire suppression system and a hood that allowed for things like corn dogs and French fries, those will have to wait as the business tries to recover from lackluster sales spurred in part by the pandemic slowdown and a new location without the nostalgic ties to the hot dogs they serve or the brand that Bob Lange built in the community.
But there will be some additions to the menu – chiefly, a variety of new milkshakes that Cortez and her family implemented in Stockton as well as chocolate dipped soft-serve cones.
“Before we had chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and while we added some at the mall, we didn’t have the traffic to be adding more and more things to the menu,” Cortez said. “But now we have the space and it looks like we’ll have the traffic so we’re going to move forward with expanding that.
“The big deal that everybody is actually waiting for is that we’re going to have soft serve – we purchased two of the good machines from the previous owners and we’re going to add soft serve cones and we’re going to give dipped cones a try again. It was really difficult with the space constraints that we had at the ‘cone’ but we think we’ll be able to get it all figured out here – we’re going to give it a test run next week and see how we can do that.”
The business has a revamped logo – drawn up by Cortez’ daughters Elizabeth and Carla, nieces Ariana and Adelina, and nephew Little Adam – that was designed for the mall location and will include Cortez’ father’s longstanding slogan of “come and eat.”