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Plans call for opening Zombie Dogs and Fries at Hurts Donut Co.’s original downtown location.
Plans call for opening Zombie Dogs and Fries at Hurts Donut Co.’s original downtown location.

Hurts Donut owners plan zombie-themed hot dog joint

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In the next life, the owners of Hurts Donut Co. foresee a hot dog venture. That time is now.

Tim and Kas Clegg, along with Hurts Donut business partner Scott Bussard, are in the design and development phase for their concept dubbed Zombie Dogs and Fries. In the works for three years, Tim Clegg said the concept went through three branding changes.

“We felt the zombie thing had legs,” he said. “Obviously, the zombie culture, as far as fandom, is extremely strong.”

The concept also will bring familiar scenery back to Hurts Donut’s early customers. Clegg said the business partners have kept the lease for years on the original location downtown at 301 Park Central West. Hurts Donut moved in 2015 less than a block down the street to 320 Park Central West.

Declining to estimate expenses, Clegg said the owners are meeting today with their Ava-based general contractor, Build-Co, to iron out the details, though much of the infrastructure is already in place at the space. The goal, he said, is to open Zombie Dogs and Fries in three to four months.

“We obviously want to have fun with it, but we want to be cautious,” Clegg said of the zombie culture theme. “We don’t want to offend the people who are trying to digest food by making it too gory.”

As for the food, Clegg said the restaurant would have Chicago- and Coney Island-style hot dogs, as well as a specialty line “where we get more creative.” In addition to the hot dogs on made-from-scratch buns, he said the menu would have several varieties of fries, including “dessert fries.”

Similar to the Hurts Donut chain, Clegg said Zombie Dogs and Fries also would have a charitable aspect. For every meal purchased, the company would provide a meal for Convoy of Hope’s FeedOne program.

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