Sophie Bolich

Riley’s Good Dogs Truck Will Add Downtown Restaurant

Guests would be able to dine-in at Water and Wisconsin location, which currently offers takeout and delivery only.

By - Nov 3rd, 2022 02:10 pm
Riley’s Good Dogs. Photo taken March 10th, 2021 by Graham Kilmer.

Riley’s Good Dogs. Photo taken March 10th, 2021 by Graham Kilmer.

Fans of Riley’s Good Dogs will soon have the opportunity to enjoy the restaurant’s traditional and plant-based hot dogs on-site for the first time ever.

The hot dog-focused restaurant, best known for its gray and orange food truck, is planning to open a dining room at 720 N. Water St., near E. Wisconsin Ave.

Riley’s currently offers curbside pickup and delivery only from the location, which is also used as a base kitchen for the food truck. The space is in the base of the 100 East office tower parking structure.

Co-owner Hank Stiehl told Urban Milwaukee that the new dining room would seat up to 25 people and could open as soon as late November, if all goes according to plan.

Stiehl operates Riley’s in partnership with Bill Weslow and Daniel Walsh.

Riley’s first opened as a food truck in February 2021, setting up shop at 1652 N. Water St., in the parking lot of the former Moto-Scoot shop.

Last year was all about brand-building and establishing a name for Riley’s in Milwaukee, said Stiehl. “But this year, the business focus has been more on getting to events, large food truck festivals, or any large event that really takes advantage of the high volume capacities of our food truck.”

Riley's Good Dogs location on N. Water St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Riley’s Good Dogs location on N. Water St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

As the business continues to grow, Stiehl said he hopes to open a second brick-and-mortar location at the former Moto-Scoot location, but is currently putting all of his efforts into the 720 N. Water. St. restaurant.

“There [are] some future plans and goals for that space, but right now all of our focus is on that spot at the corner of Water and Wisconsin,” Stiehl said.

The new restaurant will offer the full food truck menu, which includes 24 varieties of traditional or plant-based hot dogs, brats and Italian sausages, plus meatless Impossible nuggets, “zoomie” fries and Jolly Good sodas.

Down the line, Stiehl said he is planning a “pretty significant expansion” to the menu, which would move “beyond just hot dogs and sausages.”

For now, Stiehl said the company is continuing its commitment to providing a variety of options for both meat eaters and plant-based folks. He added, “we are working very hard to work with the city and work with our landlord and other partners to continue to move the business forward and move into the space as soon as we possibly can.”

City records do not indicate any plans for commercial alterations at the new location.

When not parked on Water Street, the food truck makes regular appearances at local events. Most recently, Riley’s served attendees at Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee and a trick-or-treat event at Sprecher Brewing Co.

Riley’s is open for curbside pickup and delivery at 720 N. Water St. Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Despite the similar names and dog focus, Riley’s Good Dogs is not affiliated with Riley’s Social House and Riley’s Sandwich Company in the Historic Third Ward.

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