The zombie is about to be let out of the bag.
Zombie Dogz, 1200 Brown St. in Dayton, plans to rise from the dead today at 11 a.m. with an expanded menu, Zombie Dogz co-owner David VanArtsdalen told this news organization.
>> RELATED: (Oct. 27) Zombie Dogz fans lose their brains after bombshell announcement
The beloved food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant at 1200 Brown St. was closed Jan. 14-27 to prepare for the launch of an expanded menu.
It opened Monday, Jan. 28, for a sneak peek for special guests.
VanArtsdalen said he and his wife Lee want to keep the suspense until the restaurant opens, but said the new menu will include a variety of new “munches” like fried pretzel bites, tater tot poutine and regular and hand-battered cheese curds.
Zombie Dogz will still serve the gourmet hot dogs that has earned it an intensely loyal local following.
“The menu gives people more choices. Not everyone wants to eat hot dogs,” VanArtsdalen said.
There will also be six different desserts and a beef and kimchi dish called “Creep Sho” in honor of a customer.
Before opening the brick-and-mortar restaurant, the VanArtsdalens had considered launching a food truck with the non-hot dog items.
“We just want more creativity,” VanArtsdalen said.
**PREVIOUS COVERAGE (Jan. 9, 2019): Zombie Dogz to close, then rise from dead with new ‘kitschy’ food
Zombie Dogz is preparing for a major resurrection.
The beloved food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant at 1200 Brown St. will be closed Jan. 14-28 for major changes.
When the smoke clears, Lisa Vitale, a Zombie Dogz manager, said a new, more lively Zombie Dogz will emerge.
“We are really good at hot dogs, but we’ve been working on some recipes for some other food items, dessert and starters,” she said. “We have some more fun, kitschy things to add that’s us.”
The restaurant posted about the changes Tuesday, Jan. 8 on Facebook.
“We are expanding our menu, MEANING, we want to be more than just hot dogs😐. We’re good cooks and are very creative, so we’re adding amazing new products to focus on a full-service menu.🙌🏼🙌🏼 We’re most excited about our new dessert line we have in store for you.🦄💜🎉We also have a new loyalty program that we can promote specials, purchase incentives, and reach out to you on your birthday🎉🎉. And lastly, expansion opportunities 🎉🙌🏼🙌🏼🤗.”
Zombie Dogz opened on Brown Street on Nov. 13, 2016.
Its restaurant, food truck and gourmet hot dogs enjoy a loyal following.
For the second consecutive year, Zombie Dogz was named Best Food Truck in Dayton.com’s Best of Dayton poll, a people’s choice contest.
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Calling in Dead, the hot dog made with housemade white truffle mac and cheese topped with Parmesan garlic cracker crumbs, won Best Food Truck Dish.
More than half a million votes were cast in Best of Dayton 2018.
>> RELATED: Zombie Dogz among 2018 Best of Dayton winners
Vitale said hot dogs will remain a big part of the business and the name of the restaurant will remain the same, even though its focus will expand.
The restaurant already accepts Uber Eats orders and will soon add Door Dash.
Two or three more employees will be hired to support the added service and menu changes.
The training will occur and the interior of the restaurant will be renovated the two weeks the business is closed.
“Mostly it is cosmetic stuff,” Vitale said.
She declined to elaborate more now to “keep it exciting,” but said fans can expect an even better Zombie Dogz.
“It’s a new year, a new Zombie Dogz,” she said.