Richard D. L. Fulton
(9/1) A local couple has launched a hot dog and ice cream business just outside Emmitsburg which will feature a patriotic theme.
Jack and Dana Collins, co-owners, hope to have the new eatery, named All American hot dog and Ice Cream, open before the beginning of September.
The new restaurant is located at 14700 Tract Road.
The eatery will be offering hot dogs with a variety of toppings, soft serve ice cream, snow cones, and milk shakes, and featuring live blue grass and rock blues music.
Jack Collins said, as far as operating hours, "We’re going to try and have it open from 3 to 8 p.m. during the week, and from 3 to 9 p.m. on the weekends." As the business grows and additional help is hired, the hours may be extended to 11 p.m.
"We’re going to have all-beef hot dogs, Kunzler pretzel dogs, different sausages, with pretty much any topping," Collins stated.
But unlike others eateries in the area, this one will have a definitive, patriotic atmosphere.
Tributes to the armed forces, police, and fire will be displayed, along with a stone for each of the military branches and civil service circling a battlefield cross.
Collins, formerly with Navy intelligence, lost his brother in the late-1970s when his place crashed at a strategic air force base in Spokane. Thus the battlefield cross around which the stones are circled. His brother was 19 at the time of his death.
The restaurant, he said, will serve as a "patriotic place in honor of god, family and country."
As an aside the various hot dogs will be named after "good old local Americas living in the area and the people who helped me put this place this together."
The Collins have been living in Emmitsburg for about five years, and actually moved to town so their daughter, Faith, could attend the Mother Seton School.
Jack Collins is employed at SAIC, a Frederick-based vaccine production plant, and operates an equipment calibration business out of his own home.
As far as why the couple wanted to start a hot dog eatery, Collins said, "We Just wanted something my family could run," and there "seemed to be a need" for the type of restaurant proposed for the benefit of "a lot of old timers."
Plus, Collis has other plans for the restaurant as well.
"We’re going to do some cool stuff," he said. "I’m a coin collector, so I want to do some contests (for children) and give them some collectible coins as prizes. The essays would be on issues relating to government and history. What makes America great."
Collins said the restaurant would also be sponsoring benefits for veterans and Saint Judes Hospital.
The eatery, he said, "Will grow as we grow. There’s a lot of things I want to add to it," including a pavilion.
"Basically," he said, "it’s just a patriotic place."
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