Michiana's Menu: The story behind the 'stray dog'

Michiana’s Menu: The story behind the ’stray dog’

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. -- You see the logo of the Stray Dog just about everywhere, but you might be asking yourself where does it come from.

“New Buffalo is a destination hot spot in his own, we have kids every year that say I want to go to the dog place, the place with all of the dogs, you remember when you were younger the little things that stuck out to you,” says Joey DiMaggio, General Manager of Stray Dog.  

And dogs, you can sure find! Welcome to Stray Dog. The New Buffalo hub is home to a warm atmosphere with savory burgers and a menu unlike any other. But perhaps what people might first notice are the dogs.

“We have people who go all around the country, we go to Disney world a lot, people in Disney we see stray dog sweatshirts all over Disney world,” says DiMaggio.  

The Stray Dog has been around for 20 years. The owners first decided on the name after some friends of theirs took in an abandoned dog. He was known as ‘Jack,’ and is the inspiration behind the iconic stray dog logo. The restaurant has been in its location off of north Whittaker street since 2003. But in 2012, the restaurant lost everything to a fire.

Everything, but the original stray dog.

“We could not find Jack’s painting, but we did not see remnants of it anywhere, and we noticed there was a giant pile of rubble where that painting sit, and we started digging through and at the very bottom of the pile we found Jacks photo just completely intact.”

The restaurant rebuilt in its original location, with a water view escape that is hard to find anywhere else! It makes this destination a year-round getaway for community members and visitors, alike.

“Once they get to the Michigan state line it is almost a sigh of relief, you are not far but it feels like a world away.”

But of course, it is also the menu that gives people that sense of relief. The restaurant offers half pound charred black angus beef burgers, artisan hand tossed pizzas, jalapeno poppers, turkey clubs and Rueben’s and more.

The menu offers a little bit of everything.

“Literally for something for everyone you can create your own experience, some higher end things on the menu or just have a hot dog or a burger, whatever you want to do.”

Plan your visit here.

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