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Beer Dogs: new eatery to feature gourmet hotdogs, craft beer

Beer Dogs, Citrus Heights
Beer Dogs restaurant signs have already popped up at Sylvan Corners, advertising the soon-to-open new eatery in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

Updated Aug. 5, 7:01 p.m. —
A new gourmet hotdog and craft beer restaurant is scheduled to open in Citrus Heights as early as next month, with plans to quickly expand to other locations in the region as well.

Located between JB Liquors and the Bearpaw shoes store at Sylvan Corners, Beer Dogs spokesman and senior partner Zachary Swithenbank said the new “quick-service” restaurant will offer menu selections ranging from tater tots and kids meals to a choice of 10 different hotdog options.

A preview menu posted on the front window of the new eatery includes names like “The New Yorker” and “The Great Western Dog” — described as a “signature grilled gourmet 10-inch hotdog on our mouth-watering, hand-baked sourdough bun, topped with chopped crispy bacon pieces, French fried onions, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce.”

Craft beer choices on the menu feature several selections from regional breweries, including the “Gold Digger IPA” from Auburn Alehouse brewery and a “Golden Eagle Mandarin Wheat” from Loomis Basin Brewing Co. Hard alcohol won’t be offered.

Although hotdogs and beer don’t usually come to mind when thinking “healthy,” Swithenbank said Beer Dogs is “trying to make the hotdog healthy and good at the same time.” He said “everything that goes into the bun” will be “farm-to-table concept,” and the restaurant will use hotdogs from San Fransisco-based Evergood Foods.

Beer Dogs General Manager Jeff Wilkinson described the inside of the restaurant as having an “industrial” look, with a craft beer bar and 30-foot long counter for seating guests. He said there will also be bar stool seating along the wall, and a “horseshoe-shaped” seating area inside.

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In a recent phone interview, Swithenbank told The Sentinel he partnered with Bearpaw shoes owner Tom Romeo to launch the new restaurant. He also said the pair plans to quickly open several more Beer Dogs locations in the Sacramento region and beyond.

“We have quite a few locations already picked out and we’ll expand quite a bit in three to five years,” said Swithenbank, who has a background in real estate development and corporate management. “We’re hopeful to take 50 to 100 locations by the end of the 10-year mark.”

He said Citrus Heights was chosen as the place to launch the first Beer Dogs due to the area’s demographics and high traffic count at Sylvan Corners, calling it “the right place at the right time.”

The pair have already hired enough employees to open the first location, but will have a second wave of hiring in a few weeks. Everyone hired in the first wave will go through an in-house management program to learn “every facet of the business,” according to Swithenbank.

In 6 to 12 months, the goal is to have all hires be prepared to take on positions as general managers of future Beer Dogs locations. “We’re not hiring people that want a job, we’re hiring people that want a career,” said Swithenbank.

With hiring complete and interior remodeling nearing completion, the new Beer Dogs is targeting an opening date of Sept. 1 or Labor Day.

The new restaurant’s address is 7032 Sylvan Rd.

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