Graham Kilmer

Got Dogs, Milwaukee’s Latest Hot Dog

Tom Pappas wants his business to be "The Hot Dog of Milwaukee."

By - Jan 31st, 2020 03:08 pm
Tom Pappas behind the grill. Photo from Got Dogs.

Tom Pappas behind the grill. Photo from Got Dogs.

Tom Pappas, scion of the Pappas family that owns Ouzo Cafe at 776 N. Milwaukee St., is branching out on his own as a mobile purveyor of tubular meat.

He’s opening a hot dog cart. Its name? Got Dogs. As in, ‘You want hot dogs, we got ‘em.”

Ouzo Cafe has done food stands for nearly a decade, Pappas says. As a teenager he used to go out with his uncles and work the stands, and he “stuck with it ever since.” He’s decided to stay in the family business, but Got Dogs is his.

Pappas’ carts will sell hot dogs, Polish sausage, bratwurst and Italian sausage. He will also offer a few specialty dogs. There’s the Seattle Dog, a favorite, he says, with cream cheese and caramelized onions. There’s the Dirty Dog, with bacon, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce. He also will offer a Chicago dog, which, he says, you will be able to make into a Milwaukee Dog by adding ketchup.

During the week you can find Got Dogs in Milwaukee’s central business district during lunch hours. And Thursday through Saturday, he’ll have carts on Old World Third Street and Water Street for all the hungry, drunk bar denizens. Pappas said he is also open to catering, he plans to use his family’s kitchen at Ouzo Cafe for such events. A license is pending before the Common Council.

Pappas takes pride in his dogs. It should be noted that his hot dog to customer time is wicked fast. He said he can get a hot dog in a customer’s hands, from payment through the end of the transaction, in 30 to 40 seconds.

The sausage game is not without competition. Dogg Haus is a favorite in Milwaukee, especially for the inebriated. Pappas said he has respect for Dogg Haus, but he hopes Got Dogs will become, “The Hot Dog of Milwaukee.”

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One thought on “Dining: Got Dogs, Milwaukee’s Latest Hot Dog”

  1. Tim E says:

    Great story – Great Entrepreneur – Best of to ya!

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