In the past, when a restaurant opened, you might have received a balloon, a handshake from the owner, and a mint to suck on on your way out the door.
Today? The eating-out game has stepped up, as have the dining destination debuts. Sure, you may still meet the owner -- always a nice thing -- but chances continue to grow you'll get a free meal out of the opening day visit, too.
Try it, like it, come back? That's the deal.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Dog Haus is all about this. The Pasadena-born frankfurter palace, which has been stretching its buns in recent months into various corners of Southern California, with shops in Canoga Park and Alhambra, is look further east. West Covina, to be exact, and Saturday, Oct. 4, which happens to be opening day for this location, brings a tasty treat for hot-dog-ists ready to queue up: a free hot dog.
For sure, this is a one-dog-per-person deal.
And, for sure, the Dog Haus has become known for creative toppings and interesting names and timely tie-ins to big events like the FIFA World Cup. Who here tried the boutique "craft casual" chain's Thanksgivukkah Dog last year? The turkey dog that arrived topped with a latke, in honor of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving?
Yeah, they'll go there, with flair.
The Oct. 4 opening day hot-dog-giveaway-stravaganza is on from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., so you can make it, whatever else your Saturday holds. While you're waiting, check out the menu, which also goes the burger and sausage route. (Are burgers and hot dogs the peanut butter and jelly of the fast-casual dining world? Discuss.)
Nope, opening days aren't what they used to be, but that's okay. Change is good, right? It gives us latke-topped hot dogs at the holidays and free franks at grand opening events.
The West Covina Dog Haus is located at 2678 East Garvey Avenue South.